What Recent Statistics Mean for Bike Safety

Ever since the covid 19 pandemic affected all of our lives in March of 2020 things have not been the same. Many Americans made big changes in their lives to not take what was once everyday life for granted, and one way they are savoring their freedom is by riding bikes. In 2019 48.9 million Americans were cycling, now as of 2022 nearly 55 million Americans are taking to the outdoors on their bikes. While this new love of riding bikes is fantastic, the rise in popularity has also led to an increase in bicycle related accidents. At LifeLaw Personal Injury we love riding bikes, and we think that to keep ourselves safe on the roads we need to understand these statistics and know what we can do to keep ourselves safer on the roads.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

National Data: According to the US Department of Transportation (US DOT), in 2020, there were over 900 bicyclist fatalities in the United States. Along with this, about 38,000 riders were injured in motor vehicle traffic accidents as well.

Urban vs. Rural: Urban areas are the most prominent places for bike accidents to occur, with roughly 75% of bicyclist fatalities that occur in urban settings. This is typically due to much more dense traffic making your interactions with vehicles much more frequent.

Time of Day: Accidents are much more likely to occur from the hours of 6pm to 9pm. This period of time usually has reduced visibility due to loss of day light as well as an increased amount of traffic leading to a perfect storm for getting into a bike accident. Nighttime riding also poses additional risks as the much lower visibility leads to a much higher risk of getting into an accident.

Safety Tips for Cyclists

  • Wear a Helmet: Always make sure that you wear a properly adjusted and well fitting helmet before you set out on your bike ride. A helmet is your number one defense against traumatic brain injuries and severe head trauma. Head injuries are reduced significantly by wearing a helmet and wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by 60 percent, brain injuries by 58 percent. Wearing a helmet can also decrease your risk of getting into a fatal accident by a whopping 73%.
  • Follow Traffic Laws: Traffic laws are created to help keep you safe which makes following them crucial as a cyclist. When you are riding your bike our Utah bike accident lawyers strongly recommend obeying all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings. In doing this you will be able to keep yourself and others on the road safer.
  • Be Visible: When you are riding a bike you are a much smaller vehicle than anyone else on the road. This makes it absolutely crucial that you are seen by all other drivers. When you are on your bike consider wearing bright or reflective clothing, especially if you are riding at night, as well as making sure that your bike is equipped with front and rear lights and reflectors. Taking these steps can make you more noticeable to others on the road and will be able to keep you safe.
  • Stay Alert: Try to keep an eye out for any road hazards such as potholes, debris, and parked cars. These hazards can lead to serious injuries if you are not paying attention. Your focus should be on the road at all times so try and avoid distractions like listening to music or using your phone while riding.
  • Use Bike Lanes: If there are bike lanes available use them! These lanes or paths are designed with the explicit purpose of giving a bicyclist a safe amount of room from cars and the dangers of motor vehicle traffic.
  • Ride Defensively: It is best to assume that all drivers do not see you, and be prepared to take evasive maneuvers if necessary. When riding, try to make eye contact with drivers when you enter into an intersection, this ensures that the driver has noticed you and will be mindful of their surroundings.

What to do if You Are Involved in a Bicycle Accident

Despite taking precautions, an accident can still happen. Not knowing what to do in the event of an accident can be detrimental to your potential personal injury case. Here at LifeLaw our Utah bike accident attorneys suggest following these steps in the aftermath of an accident.

Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety should be your top priority after an accident, making it vital to seek medical attention immediately. After an accident you may have adrenaline and endorphins rushing through your body, this can mask the pain you may feel from injuries leading you to believe that you aren’t injured. Seeking prompt medical treatment ensures that no injury will go unnoticed and that you will be able to start your road to recovery as soon as possible. 

Report the Accident: Make sure that the police have been called after you were in an accident. Here in Utah, it is required by law to call the police after an accident has occurred. The police arriving at the scene also ensures that an official police report is created. This report contains an objective description of the accident as well as all appropriate contact information from all involved.

Collect Evidence and Information: Gather as much information and evidence as possible while you are at the scene of the accident. Make sure that you get the driver of the vehicle’s contact information as well as their insurance information. Try to gather statements from anyone who witnessed the accident as they will be able to corroborate your story, and try to take as many photos and videos of the scene as possible.

Preserve Evidence: You may want to throw your bike away after the accident but it is important to keep your damaged bike and gear as evidence for your injury case. Do not attempt to repair anything until the insurance company has thoroughly inspected it.

Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer: An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and pursue the compensation that you deserve for all of your injuries.

If you are planning on riding your bike it is crucial to understand what you can do to stay safe. By staying informed and vigilant you will be able to safely ride your bike as well as greatly reduce your risk of getting into a bicycle accident. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, make sure to seek out the best help you can receive with LifeLaw Personal Injury. Here at LifeLaw we love bikes, in fact one of our attorneys David Francis was a part of the U.S Men’s Cycling team with teammates Lance Armstrong and Jonathan Vaughters among others. This specialized knowledge of cycling allows us to navigate your bike accident case with the care and attention that it deserves. Contact us today to get the compensation you deserve, and to discuss your options further.