Over the past 20 years, the number of people injured in cycling accidents has increased. Sadly, the cost of each of these incidents is equally growing, per a study highlighted on Reuters.
The increase of accidents and their associated medical costs is partly because of the growing number of consumers choosing to ride their bikes. More consumers opt for two wheels instead of four, especially as the nation becomes more environmentally conscious about their actions. The higher cost per accident, however, has nothing to do with the increased ridership numbers.
Instead, it is the age of those riders. The number of riders over the age of 45 has increased, and more street and highway incidents involve vehicles and riders in that age group.
Statistics on Automobile versus Cyclist Accidents
The research team took data from the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) Injury Cost Model to determine how much work was missed and the quality of life losses after an accident. The research team found that 3.8 million non-fatal adult cycling accidents and 10,000 deaths were reported from 1997 to 2013.
The cost of those injuries during the study period was $209 billion for the non-fatal accidents and $28 billion for the fatalities. Each year, the number of injuries for non-fatal accidents increased by 6,500 and the total costs rose $789 million per year. However, the cost per mile traveled for cyclists fell from $2.85 to $2.35 by 2009.
Through the research period, the team found that the non-fatal biking accidents injury numbers rose by 140 percent in cost, taking it from $9.3 billion in 1997 to $22.4 billion by 2013.
Can Cyclists Do Their Part?
Ultimately, motorists are responsible for looking out for cyclists and ensuring that they do not cause an accident. However, the cyclist is equally responsible for their actions on the road, especially when riding along motor vehicles.
While riders cannot control the actions of motorists on the road, there are ways they can keep themselves safe, including:
Wearing a Helmet Always: Helmet laws vary, and while adults are not required to wear a helmet, wearing one could save a life. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common in cycling accidents, but a helmet could be the difference between minor and severe trauma.
Look for Cars: The most common collision between an automobile and a rider is when the vehicle pulls out of a side street, driveway, or parking lot on the right. Riders can avoid these collisions by looking for cars. Also, having a headlight equipped on the front of their bike can increase visibility for the motorists, and slowing down at intersections might give the rider enough time to see an oncoming vehicle.
Look for Parked Cars: Another common accident is when a rider is hit by a driver opening his or her door. A rider should ride to the left as much as possible so that they do not run into opening doors unexpectedly. Also, riders should look to see if the motorist is in the vehicle and be cautious when passing parked vehicles.
Injured in an Accident? You Have Rights
If you or a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident, and a driver’s negligence caused your injuries, you have rights. Exercise your right to compensation by meeting with an attorney ready to fight for you.
Contact an attorney from Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP today at one of our three convenient locations.