The Keefe Law Firm, LLC

Fatal bike accidents increasing even as totals fall

There is some good news for cyclists: In recent years, it looks like fewer of them are getting involved in accidents. They have spent a long time encouraging drivers to share the road safely, and it looks like that is finally paying off. Cyclists crash less often, even as reports show that more and more people have started taking up this hobby -- or using their bikes as a means of transportation.

There is also bad news, however. The same reports have found an increase in deadly accidents. For instance, between 2007 and 2016, government statistics show that there was an increase in fatalities from 701 to 840. Cyclists may get hit less often, but they may not actually be as safe as that makes it sound.

Why is this happening?

Why the increase is happening is not entirely clear. Some potential reasons include:

  • Cities have taken too long to make changes to roads that would keep cyclists safe. While many have made plans, they do not always get the job done right away.
  • There are more people riding bikes, and having more bikes on the roads naturally increases the odds of a deadly accident.
  • As cycling becomes more popular, it also means that a lot of these riders are new riders. This can lead to confusion since they lack experience.
  • Despite the drop in total accidents that some have reported, the reality is that drivers still do not drive carefully around cyclists. They still fail to share the road safely.
  • Cyclists do not wear proper protective gear, such as helmets, making it more likely that an accident will result in a fatality.
  • People break traffic laws that increase the danger. For instance, a speeding driver is more likely to kill a cyclist in a crash than a driver who was following the speed limit, even if that driver still hit the cyclist.

Every incident is unique, of course, and a lot of different factors play into it. What cyclists need to understand is simply that they face serious risks every time they go out. An accident could leave them with broken bones, road rash, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), skull fractures, spinal cord injuries and much more. They could deal with paralysis and other life-changing injuries.

Their families could also get the call saying that they passed away in the accident.

Your rights

Have you lost a loved one in a cycling accident, or have you suffered massive, life-altering injuries yourself? If a driver caused that accident, you must know if you have a right to financial compensation for your costs.

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