Cycling is a health-conscious hobby. People get on their bikes to get their heart rate up and move their bodies. Cycling is also a very cost-effective transportation choice, as it is far cheaper to pedal oneself to the bookstore than it is to pay for fuel and insurance for a motor vehicle.
Traffic laws effectively treat bicycles like vehicles and allow them to share roads without minimum speed limits with other vehicles. Even in areas where there are no dedicated cycling lanes, bicycles can travel on the same side of the road as enclosed motor vehicles. Unfortunately, cyclists then have to worry about whether other people might cause a crash. According to cycling crash statistics, the possibility of a cyclist dying because of a driver is the highest it has been in more than 40 years.
What do recent crash statistics show?
Cyclists don’t have much protection when crashes occur. Their bicycles won’t do much to absorb the force of impact, and helmets can only do so much to reduce someone’s risk of severe injury and death. Unfortunately, even though many motor vehicles have become safer in recent years, they have also become quite a bit bigger in general, which might be one of the reasons why more cycling fatalities have occurred in recent years.
According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 966 cyclist deaths in traffic collisions in 2021, which was a significant increase from 2019, when 858 cyclists died. The 2021 fatalities were the highest reported since 1975.
How can cyclists protect themselves?
Careful adherence to traffic laws is crucial for the safety of cyclists, as is using a dedicated lane whenever one is available. Although cyclists do not have to wear helmets, purchasing safety gear and also visibility gear may decrease their risk on the road. Cyclists may also want to consider adding extra insurance to their motor vehicle insurance policy. Although people don’t always realize it, their policy can provide supplemental coverage after a cycling crash, which can be invaluable given the extent of the injuries possible.
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may be a necessary step for those involved in a bicycle-car collision and worried about covering medical expenses and recouping their lost income. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.