For years, advocates have promoted bicycling for its benefits to the health of individuals, to civic life and to the environment. They have launched “bike to school or work days,” pushed city governments to create bike lanes and educated the public about safety. As a result, by most measures, the number of bicyclists has greatly increased on roads throughout the country.
Interestingly, the higher numbers of cyclists on the road has apparently not led to a higher number of bicycle accidents. According to bicycling advocacy group People Powered Movement, the number of bicycle accidents has been declining even as the number of bicyclists has increased. Unfortunately, the number of fatal bicycle accidents has increased at the same time. In other words, there are fewer bicycle accidents, but more of the accidents that happen are fatal. More than 70% of these fatal accidents occur in cities.
People Powered Movement offers several possible explanations for this seeming paradox. One is that the popularity of cycling has brought more inexperienced riders onto the roads, where they engage in risky behavior. Another is that local governments have not fully implemented their bicycle safety plans. A third possible explanation is that motor vehicle drivers are not taking cyclists into account when they are on the road.
When drivers are not careful, they pose a serious threat to cyclists. A small collision between a car and a bicycle might not even leave a scratch on the driver while leading to serious injury or death for the cyclist.
When drivers cause injury to a cyclist through negligence, the injured or their family members may be able to recover compensation for their damages, including medical expenses and lost wages. The costs associated with a bike accident injury can be enormous, and it’s important that the injured get the compensation they need. It’s also important to hold negligent drivers accountable after their carelessness hurts someone.