A disturbing report from the Governors Highway Safety Association paints a grim portrait of bicycle safety. If you know any cyclists who commute to work or ride regularly, then you might want to share these statistics with them. They’re the reason so many bicyclists will require personal injury protection this year.
>By the numbers, this has been a rough decade for U.S. cyclists:
- According to the most recent data, 722 cyclists died in car crashes in 2012.
- That’s a 16% increase since 2010, when 620 cyclists died. In 2011, 682 cyclists died in motor vehicle accidents.
- The most dangerous states for cyclists? Most fatalities occurred in California, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois, and Michigan. Those states all have dense urban areas where cyclists and drivers are more likely to share the road.
- In 2012, 69% of bicycle fatalities occurred in urban areas.
- One in three fatal bicycle accidents happen at intersections.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, men have made up about 70% of fatal car crashes for decades, and the numbers are similar for bicyclists as well. Three out of four cyclists deaths involved adult men, with men under the age of 20 accounted for 14%.
- The new GHSA report concluded that 65% of fatal bicycle accidents were a result of riders not wearing helmets.
The conclusion? Wear a helmet! The GHSA reports that the lack of universal helmet requirements for cyclists is a major contributing factor to the rise in deaths. Additionally, the report advises cyclists to take extra care whenever passing through an intersection. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers running red lights kill 900 people and injure 2,000 more every year.
Unfortunately, distracted drivers have never been more dangerous, with smartphones causing accidents all over the country. In fact, 13% of drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 admitted to texting when they caused an accident. The GHSA report also suggests avoiding riding in urban areas; unfortunately, that’s hardly an option for people who rely on their bike to get to work and may need personal injury protection after a crash.
If you’re a cyclist who’s been injured on the road, then don’t hesitate to contact personal injury attorneys about your accident. Drivers have steel and airbags to protect them, but cyclists often have to rely on personal injury settlements to be made whole after an accident.
Personal injury protection might be the only thing to make drivers finally take notice of the dangers they pose to cyclists. Remember: always wear a helmet.