Missourians who choose to use a bicycle to get around rather than other means might think they are saving money by not driving, are getting exercise they would otherwise not get, and are taking steps to safeguard the environment. While this is all true, there are inherent dangers with riding a bicycle on the road in Saint Peters and throughout the state. In addition, a bicyclist who is in a crash with a car is inherently vulnerable to serious injuries and fatalities. Understanding the statistics for bicycle accidents is useful before and after an accident.
In years past, the statistics showed that children were more susceptible to being in a bicycle accident with a car. Now, however, there has been a drastic increase in fatal bike accidents where adults were the victims. The Governors Highway Safety Association issued a report stating that the number of fatalities for bicyclists rose by 12.2 percent in 2015, with 818 people dying. This is the highest increase for all groups on the road. Eighty-five percent of those who died were male and the average age was 45.
It is believed that the number of people who are operating their vehicles while distracted is contributing to the rise in bicycle crashes. This is not mentioned in the report, but, since failure to see bicyclists is frequently cited in these accidents, distraction might be a factor in the greater number of bicycle accidents. Alcohol was a factor in 37 percent of bicycle accidents.
Causes that were commonly referenced include: a motorist passing a bicyclist as they both head in the same direction; motorists turning into the bicyclist’s path; motorists heading straight and a bicyclist coming from either direction; a motorist entering the road from a parking lot, driveway, alley or side street; a bicyclist going in the wrong direction; lack of visibility; misjudging distances; and a failure to obey the rules of the road.
People who are injured in bicycle accidents will likely be confronted with hefty medical expenses and a long recovery. If there is a fatal accident, those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one will need to address personal, emotional and financial realities that would otherwise not have been in place. Discussing a legal case with an attorney experienced in wrongful death litigation can help with pursuing compensation.
Source: consumeraffairs.com, “Bicycle fatalities jump 12.2% — Today’s victims are more likely to be adult males,” Mark Huffman, Aug. 24, 2017