According to a recent report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), serious injuries involving cyclists and pedestrians have seen a steady increase in recent years. Obviously, cycling (and walking) are healthy forms of exercise and good for the environment, but we need to increase awareness about the risks of cycling—especially on busy Boston streets—if we want to see these statistics reverse, and begin moving in a positive direction.
In Boston, as in other cities across the country, cyclist safety is a top priority of city planners. However, the rate at which this development is occurring is not keeping pace with the rise in the number of cyclists on the road. According to a Washington Post article, there has been an increase in bicycle accidents simply because there are more people cycling today than ever before. Today, bike share programs have added 42,000 bikes to our nation’s roads, and most of those are in congested cities, like Boston.
According to the GHSA, “pedestrians and cyclists are at an inherent disadvantage when involved in traffic crashes: when a faster moving vehicle meets a pedestrian or a bicycle, the vehicle always wins.” The association recommends the installation of “more marked bike lanes, more clearly defined bike lanes that separate riders from cars, bike boxes at traffic signals . . . and traffic signals that provide an advanced green signal specifically designed for cyclists,” in cities across the country. A Boston injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in a cycling accident.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Bicycling can be a safe, healthy form of exercise, but it can also be deadly. By familiarizing yourself with the risks involved, and learning how to avoid them, you can dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a bicycle accident.
- In 2015, 840 cyclists were killed in traffic collisions;
- The average age of cycling fatality victims is 45;
- More than 70 percent of all fatal cycling accidents occur on open roadways, not in intersections;
- Approximately 50 percent of cyclists who were killed in traffic collisions were not wearing a helmet.
- Distracted drivers were a factor in nearly 10 percent of all fatal bicycle-motor vehicle collisions;
- Fatal bicycle accidents are evenly distributed across daylight and evening hours;
- Alcohol was a factor in approximately 37 percent of all fatal cycling accidents.
A MA injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in a cycling accident.
Follow these Tips to Avoid a Deadly Bicycle Accident
- A bicycle should always be appropriately sized for the rider;
- Always wear a helmet;
- Follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicles;
- Whenever possible, ride in residential areas rather than congested roadways;
- Wear highly-visible, reflective gear when riding at night;
- Ensure that your bike’s brakes are in good working order before riding;
- Always maintain a safe distance from parked cars to prevent dooring;
- Never assume that a motor vehicle driver sees you, ride defensively.