Preventing Two-Wheeled Tragedies
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is frequently striving to improve safety not only for motorists but all other U.S. roadway users as well. Their Safety in Numbers “Preventing Two-Wheeled Tragedies” campaign is aimed at raising awareness for the mistakes motorists make when sharing the road with cyclists and other roadway users. Californians are lucky to have pretty mild cycling weather nearly year-round. Unfortunately, our cyclists are quite often in harm’s way.
Bicycling Safety: By The Facts
• From 2000 to 2012, the number of Americans traveling to work by bicycle increased from 488,000 to 786,000.
• Bicyclists accounted for two percent of all traffic fatalities and two percent of all crash-related injuries in 2012.
• 88 percent of bicyclists killed and 80 percent of those injured were male.
• 24 percent of bicyclists killed were between 45 and 54 years old.
• Nine percent of bicyclist fatalities and 20 percent of injuries occurred in children under the age of 16.
Mistakes That Drivers Make
One of the number one mistakes drivers make behind the wheel is not paying attention. Whether it’s a case of texting while driving, checking facebook or fiddling with the radio stations, distracted driving puts cyclists, pedestrians and other roadway users at risk. Listed below are a few other top mistakes that drivers make around bicycles.
• Turning in front of a bicycle
• Failing to look around for other roadway users
• Turning right on red without looking
• Going too fast for conditions
• Overtaking a cyclist they’re not paying attention to.
• Passing a cyclist too closely
Improving Cyclist Safety
Motorists aren’t alone in the burden for improving roadway safety. Cyclists can improve their safety by always following posted signs and signals and by always following the rules of the road. Additionally, high-visibility clothing and helmets greatly increase safety. It also helps to ‘be predictable’ around drivers.
After a Bicycle Accident
After any kind of bicycle accident, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Injured cyclists are often facing extensive medical bills and time off from work.