In December of 2019, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a comprehensive report regarding bicycle safety. It is the first such report released by the agency in 47 years. The report was intended to help combat the rise of bicyclist deaths across the country. The NTSB noted that 857 bicyclists died in 2018. This was a 6.4% increase over 2017, while overall traffic fatalities fell. The report offers some solutions that could be implemented to curb bicyclist fatalities.
The report contained 22 safety recommendations aimed at bicyclists as well as state and local governments. One of the most important recommendations was the development of infrastructure that would separate bicyclists from motor vehicles. While bike lanes are a helpful tool, protected bike lanes offer the best separation of bicyclists from traffic and are the safest.
The report also noted that more than 65% of bicycle accidents occur at intersections. The NTSB recommends improvements to intersections to reduce the number of crashes. This includes adding treatments that clearly denote the right of way, increasing signage, medians, signals, and clear pavement markings. It was also recommended that cities reduce the speed limits on many roads to reduce the potential for crashes. The report also noted that bicyclists should take steps to avoid accidents. It’s important for bicyclists to obey traffic laws and use bicycle lights to protect themselves.
While most of the report’s recommendations focused on crash avoidance, there were recommendations that were aimed at reducing the severity of crashes. The NTSB noted that less than half of bicyclists wear bicycle helmets. Helmets have been shown to be the single most effective way of reducing the incidence of serious head injury. Not all states require adults to wear bicycle helmets. The report recommends that all 50 states and the District of Columbia put laws into place that would require everyone to wear helmets.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you may need the help of a personal injury attorney. Gregg M. Goldfarb has over 20 years of experience helping the injured. Contact us online or call us at (305) 374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.