The rate at which cyclists are killed by cars in the U.S. is more than double the rate of the U.K., Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. About 33,000 people die in motor vehicle accidents in the United States each year. Approximately 1 in 41 of these victims is a bicyclist
There is no question but that cycling is an eco-friendly way to travel, as well as a great way to burn calories and stay active. However, Idaho bicyclists should take the time to familiarize themselves with where the real dangers come from on the road before heading out on their next adventure.
The League of American Bicyclists reports that most cyclist deaths in the U.S. are the result of a rear-end collision, with 40% of cyclists being injured in this type of crash. This is significant because rear end collisions constitute a low percentage of overall crashes( well less than 4%), but are responsible for the highest percentage of fatalities. T-hit crashes were the second leading cause of death, with 10% of cyclists being fatally injured in this type of crash. Head-on crashes were the cause of death for 8% of cyclists.
Drivers failing to yield caused 6% of cyclist deaths, while cyclists who failed to yield were responsible for only 2% of deaths. Careless driving was listed as a secondary factor in 101 of the 628 fatalities that the League of American Bicyclists examined in its study, but bicyclist error or careless behavior was a secondary factor in only 56 accidents.
How to Stay Safe
Although the statistics certainly seem to suggest that drivers are the biggest danger to cyclists, there are still several steps cyclists can take to keep themselves safe on the road. For example:
- Check out our Ten Safety Tips For Cyclists.
- Wear a properly fitting helmet to protect yourself in the event of a collision.
- Wear reflective clothing when biking during the evening or in foggy weather.
- Check your tires and do a general safety check before you head out on the road.
- Use hand signals when you need to turn or change lanes to indicate your intentions to drivers.
- Choose routes that avoid high traffic urban arterial roads whenever possible.
- When riding in heavy traffic, never assume that a driver can see you.
- Don’t talk on a cell phone or use a music player while riding your bike, as these distractions take your focus away from potential safety hazards on the road.
- And take a look at the ten ways to avoid getting hit by a car brought to you by bikesafe (particularly this one on avoiding rear end collisions).
Protecting Your Legal Rights
If you are injured by a negligent driver while riding your bike, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. The experienced attorneys at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to representing Idaho residents who have been injured due to the negligence of others.