According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), 800 bicyclists were killed in the U.S., and 515,000 sustained emergency room visit injuries in bike accidents in 2010. Additionally, the lifetime medical costs and productivity loss due to fatal and non-fatal bicycle accident injuries totaled five billion dollars in 2005. These numbers are especially startling when you consider only one percent of all trips in the U.S. are by bicycle. There is a clear high risk of crash-related injuries and fatalities associated with bicycle travel.
Factors Affecting Risk of Bicycle Injuries
To further understand the bike accident risk, it is important to note the factors within the injury rates. The highest death rate from bicycle accidents are in two age groups; 15-24 year olds and those 45 or older. For non-fatal injuries, the groups most at risk for injury are children ages five to 14 years old, and 15-24 year olds. These two age groups comprise 60% of all bicycle accident injuries requiring emergency room care.
Another factor affecting the risk of injury is gender. Statistics show that males are more likely than females to suffer a bicycle injury caused by a car accident. The last factor to note is accident locations; most fatal bicycle accidents occur in urban areas and at non-intersection locations.
Preventative Measures to Reduce Bicycle Accidents
The CDC suggests the following preventative measures to help reduce the number of bicycle accident injuries.
- Wear bicycle helmets: Helmets are effective at reducing the risk of head injury and brain trauma.
- Enact bicycle helmet laws for children: Laws have been proven effective for encouraging helmet use and in reducing the rate of child bicycle accident injuries and fatalities.
- Make yourself more visible to cars: Bicyclists should wear fluorescent clothing in the daytime and retro-reflective clothes at night. Additionally, cyclists must use lighting to more easily be seen by drivers and to help them see roadway hazards.
- Enact helmet laws for adults: The hope is that these laws will have the same results as child helmet laws in reducing bicycle injuries.
- Install roadway engineering: Create bike lanes and cycle tracks; pave shoulders; add signage; build median refuge islands; and post directional signage for cyclists.
The benefits of bicycling are plentiful as it is both a healthy activity and environmental friendly. With the above recommendations in place, bicycling can be a safer form of transportation and an enjoyable pastime.
Cherry Hill Bicycle Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Bicycle Injury Victims
Cherry Hill bicycle accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law protect the rights of injured bicyclists. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, call the Cherry Hill personal injury law firm of DiTomaso Law at 856-414-0010 or contact us online today for a free consultation. Our offices are located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania serving accident victims throughout South Jersey in Cherry Hill, Mount Holly, Camden County, and Southeastern Pennsylvania. We offer a lower contingency fee rate than many other South Jersey personal injury lawyers.