Cities across the nation are encouraging motorists to become bicyclists and bicycle commuting has increased dramatically since 2000. Most cities do not have the infrastructure such as bicycle lanes and complete streets to keep bicyclists safe, and as a result, bicycle accident fatalities are on the rise.
In fact, there was a 16% increase in bicycling accident fatalities between 2010 and 2012 according to a Governors Highway Safety Association study, Bicyclist Fatalities a Growing Problem for Key Groups.
Several factors stand out when looking at bicycle accident fatality statistics:
- Adults age 20 and over make up 84% of all those killed while bicycling. Of those killed, about 74% were adult males.
- Bicycle helmets do make a difference. Approximately two-thirds of all bicyclists who were killed were not wearing a bicycle helmets. Many states do not have mandatory bicycle helmet laws but Washington state enacted theirs in 1990.
- Bicycling and drinking do not mix. 28% of bicyclists killed had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more.
Where do fatal bicycle accidents occur?
Approximately 37% of all fatal bicycle accident occurred at intersections. Often, T-intersections are involved. Roundabouts, while not common in the U.S., are particularly dangerous for bicyclists. 59% of bicycle deaths occurred on roads considered major but that were not interstate highways or freeways. Not surprisingly, bicycle accident fatalities and severity of injuries increase with higher road speeds.
Washington bicycle accident statistics
In 2012, a bicyclist or pedestrian was involved in a motor vehicle accident every 3 hours. In all, there were 12 bicycle accident fatalities and 110 serious injuries.
Causes of Bicycle accidents
When a bicycle and a motor vehicle collide, one of the common contributing factors is "failure to provide a proper lookout" by either the cyclist or the driver. Other factors including drivers making poor turning maneuvers or reckless driving.
Bicycle accident injuries
Arm and leg injuries are very common in bicycle accidents. Chest and abdomen injuries occur in only about 5% of accidents, but when they do happen, they are often quite serious. Head injuries including skull fractures can result in a concussion or a traumatic brain injury.
When to hire a bicycle accident attorney
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, or a loved one killed, in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue-based personal injury law firm, is here to answer your legal questions. We provide a free and confidential case evaluation.