- A report in Science Daily reviewed the needs for safer bicycling and identified issues with infrastructure, poorly regulated roadways and the lack of bicycle safety and training as the greatest struggles for bike safety initiatives on U.S. roads.
- Bicycle safety is something that can easily be overlooked, but as more and more cyclists hit the road, it is important for motor vehicles to remember to watch for cyclists and share the road.
- By law, bicycles share the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles.
- It is important for both bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers to be aware, alert, and attentive to keep everyone traveling on Indiana roadways safe.
Study Identifies Causes for High Accident Rates Between Bicycles and Motorists
Science Daily has reported that researchers at the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology concluded research in which they interviewed 1,064 cyclists (38.8 percent women and 61.2 percent men) of about 33 years of age from countries, including the U.S., and found that the trending increase in accidents with cyclists is due to “the massive use of bicycles, which is currently still in a state of disorder, poorly controlled and regulated communities, and rarely linked to the education and road training of its users.”
The researchers then emphasized the need for safety measures that will:
- Create infrastructures to help reduce problematic interactions with other users, which occur when cyclists must share roadways with users of motor vehicles or pedestrians.
- Simplify circulation on “friendlier” roads.
- Strengthen the culture of bicycle use and respect for it in all users.
Other interesting findings showed that just over 70 percent of bike vs. car accidents and 67 percent of injuries or deaths of bicycle riding victims happen in urban areas where cars are heavily populated such as parking lots, compared to rural roads, where 29 percent of accidents and 32 percent of the victims have been recorded. 47 percent of serious injuries to cyclists occur on conventional urban roads.
Bad Driver Behaviors Contribute to High Accident Rates
In 2014, 726 people lost their lives in bicycle vs. motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. This is a slight decline from 2013, when 749 were killed – the highest number of fatalities since 2006, when 772 were killed, and a major increase from the 682 bicyclist fatalities reported in 2011. If you are a car or truck driver, share the road and follow these rules for keeping bicyclists safe.
- Don’t be a distracted driver and engage in activity that could divert attention away from driving. All distractions endanger drivers, passengers, and bystanders (like bicyclists).
- Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists. This will help avoid turning in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk, often at an intersection or driveway.
- In parking lots, at stop signs, when backing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles.
- Drivers turning right on red should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a bicyclist approaching from the right rear. Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on red.
- Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions and follow the law to avoid a crash.
- Give cyclists room. Do not pass too closely.
Bicycles have every right to the roadways that cars and trucks do, so our eyes should be trained to watch for them as they share the space and travel alongside us.
Bicycle Accident Victims Deserve Representation
If tragedy strikes and you or someone you love is injured in a bike-related accident, please call the bicycle accident attorneys at Wagner Reese for a free consultation. We put decades of experience to work for you, and we won’t collect any fees unless your case is settled or won.
Connect with us by submitting our online form, and our attorneys will review your information, and respond promptly. If you wish to speak directly with us, please call 1-888-710-9377.