A report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyzed accident data for bicyclists and other cyclists. The report found that in 2017, there were 783 cyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Cyclist deaths accounted for 2.1 percent of deaths from traffic accidents. Florida was the state with the highest rate of cyclist fatalities.
The report looked at environmental characteristics, age and gender, vehicle type, and other factors that could affect the rate of bicycle accidents. What became clear from the data is the need for increased awareness of bicycle safety to prevent accidents. Some things cyclists and motorists can do to decrease accidents include:
Wearing a Helmet
Bicyclists should make sure they wear a properly fitted helmet every time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way of preventing a head injury in a bicycle accident. Studies have found that helmet use can reduce head injury by 88%. Wearing a helmet can save your life.
Obey the Rules of the Road
Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators, just like the drivers of other vehicles. As such, they are expected to obey all traffic laws. This includes obeying traffic signs, lane markings, and signals. For instance, when riding in the street, cyclists must go in the same direction as other traffic. This is for the safety of everyone.
Share the Road
Drivers of larger motor vehicles must be careful and learn to share the road with bicyclists. They should allow at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist. They should also look for cyclists before opening their car door or pulling out of a parking spot. Yielding to cyclists at intersections is also important.
Bicyclists should increase their visibility by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day. At night they can use reflectors, reflective tape, and have lights on their bikes.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you should consult with an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping injured bicyclists for over 25 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.