Bikers in Orange County are always at a safety disadvantage when it comes to sharing the roadways with larger vehicles like cars and trucks. Although biking can be a great way to get exercise while getting from place to place, a bicycle cannot adequately protect a person if they are involved in an accident. Thus, even an accident that would be minor for people in a passenger vehicle, can cause devastating injuries if a bicycle is involved.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the problem of bicycle accidents is getting worse, at least when it comes to fatal bike accidents. Based on the preliminary numbers from the NHTSA, 2015 had a seven year high for all traffic fatalities across the country. Moreover, bikers and pedestrians suffered a disproportionate share of the death toll on the nation’s roadways.
Between 2014 and 2015, fatal bicycle accidents increased 13 percent. Furthermore, since 2007, fatal bike accidents, along with pedestrian accidents, have represented an increasing share of the total traffic fatalities. Although different groups of people have various theories as to why this is happening, the NHTSA has not necessarily attributed the growing number of deadly bike and pedestrian accidents to a specific cause.
These alarming numbers of fatalities could lead to new legislative proposals and other kinds of street safety initiatives. Regardless of whether that happens, every driver can take their own responsibility in looking out for bikers on the road and helping to keep them safe.
In too many cases, a driver who is distracted fails to see a bicyclist on the road. When a negligent driver causes a bike accident, the victims or their family members have legal rights against the driver.
Biking is popular in Orange County, just as it is in many parts of the country. Accordingly, drivers in automobiles should always be watching for bikers nearby. Everyone on the road should always make safety their first priority; by doing so, perhaps the number of deadly accidents will start to decline.
Source: BeyondChron.org, “U.S. Traffic Fatalities Rising Fast – Especially Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths,” Angie Schmitt, July 5, 2016