Bicycles Safety by the Numbers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) Safety in Numbers campaign is currently focused on preventing two-wheel tragedies. The campaign is aimed at teaching cyclists and motorists how to stay safe while navigating the roadways.
The number of Americans getting to work on bicycles has increased dramatically over the past decade. In 2000, about 448,000 people used bicycles to get to and from work. In 2012, about 786,000 people reported riding bicycles as a way to get to work and back.
Bicyclists are also disproportionately represented in crash fatality and injury statistics. This is due in part to the fact that bicyclists just aren’t very well protected in the event of a crash. They don’t have steel cages, seat belts or air bags to protect them. Even with helmets, bicyclists can still become catastrophically injured or killed in a wreck involving a traditional passenger occupant automobile, truck, bus, SUV or another large vehicle.
Bicycle Crashes By the Numbers
• 88 percent of bicyclists killed and 80 percent of bicyclists injured were male.
• 48 percent of bicyclist deaths occurred between 4:00 p.m. and midnight.
• 24 percent of those killed while riding bicycles were 45 to 54 years old.
• 9 percent of bicyclist fatalities and 20 percent of injuries happened to children under the age of 16.
• 37 percent of fatal crashes involved a driver or bicyclist who had been drinking.
Improving Bicyclist Safety
Improving bicyclist safety starts with safe riding practices. Cyclists need to obey all signs and signals and always make predictable movements in traffic. Don’t ride against traffic, swerve suddenly or blow through stoplights or stop signs. The use of safety gear like helmets and flashing lights are also fantastic ways to improve personal safety while cycling.
Motorists need to do their part to keep cyclists safe too. Paying attention and making a commitment to distraction free driving are absolutely critical to keeping bicycle riders safe. Always give at least three feet when passing bikes and expect the unexpected.
After a Bicycle Crash in San Diego or the Central Coast
The most important thing to do after a bike accident is to speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the experienced team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. for a free case consultation today.