Velophiles celebrating National Bicycle Month in May are encouraged to ride safely by state transportation departments from coast to coast. As the number of bicycle-related accidents and fatalities dramatically increases, calling attention to safety is a crucial theme for National Bicycle Month 2015.
Last year, the Governors’ Highway Safety Association reported more than half a million bicycle-related accidents in the United States. Of these half million accidents, more than 67,000 resulted in head injuries and 20,000 required hospitalization. A bicyclist is killed in the United States every six hours.
The number of bicycle-related fatalities has increased by 16 percent. About 800 deaths are attributable to bicycles each year in the United States. However, only about one-third of bicycle-related accidents involve automobiles. In fact, cycling is twice as dangerous in the absence of automobiles. This may be because the danger of being killed by a motorist exponentially increases cyclists’ vigilance.
Six states — Illinois, Michigan, New York, California, Florida, and Texas — account for significantly more than half of bicycle-related fatalities. Sixty-nine percent of bicycle-related fatalities occur in urban settings. Adult men account for 88 percent of bicycle-related fatalities. The average age of victims of bicycle-related accidents is 40.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the profile of a victim of a bicycle-related accident correlates to the 62 percent increase in bicycle commuters over a similar time frame. As such, the dramatic increase in fatalities results rather from responsible, cautious adults commuting in an orderly manner without colliding into automobiles than irresponsible youths recklessly darting into oncoming traffic.
Kooi Law is an advocate of safe bicycle practices. If you or a loved one has been injured while on your bicycle as a result of someone’s negligence, contact our Indiana personal injury attorney. We can help!