Safety Tips for Bicyclists to Avoid Auto Accidents
On average, in 2015, more than two people were killed while riding a bicycle each day, or 818 in total for the year. Compared to 2006, this was a 6 percent increase in fatalities and a 12.2 percent increase from 2014, the previous year. While the estimate of bicycle-related injuries dropped from 50,000 in 2015 to 45,000 in 2015, research into hospital records show that police records only represent a fraction of bicycle crashes that cause personal injury through auto accidents.
Breakdown: Who Are the Victims of Bicycle Accident Fatalities
- Of those killed, 88% were male.
- Urban areas account for 71% of fatalities.
- Out of the states, California, Florida, and Texas have the most bicycle-related fatalities.
- There are only two states that did not report bicyclist fatalities in 2014: Rhode Island and Vermont.
- Of bicyclists killed, 19% had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 g/dL or higher, which is beyond the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle.
While these figures seem daunting, bicycling is not inherently a dangerous mode of transportation. These fatalities account for less than two percent of all traffic fatalities, which is a high figure considering bicycle trips only account for one percent of trips in the United States. However, there is no reliable source of exposure data to properly indicate miles traveled by bicycle, how long it takes to cover those miles, and therefore, how long they are exposed to motor vehicles. With some safety tips, this exposure and the danger of bicycling can be reduced.
- Adhere to Traffic Laws. Bicyclists are subject to the same rules and laws that other motorists must follow when using roadways. Examples include obeying red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, and yielding to pedestrians.
- Be sure you can be seen when riding your bicycle. This can be done with reflective or brightly color clothing, along with reflectors on helmets and bikes, or a flashing light attached to either.
- Hand Signal Usage. When stopping, turning or changing lanes, it is important to alert motorists to your next move using hand signals.
- Take Advantage of the Entire Lane. To increase motorists’ view of you, use the whole lane and not just the side. This will help motorists not only see you on your bike but also give a better indication of where you are going.
- Avoid Traffic Congestion. When possible, choose less congested roads to get to your destination, limiting your exposure to motor vehicle traffic.
- Intersections and Driveways. Use extra caution when approaching intersections and driveways, where many accidents occur.
If you were struck while riding a bike, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us today about your personal injury to find out more.