Cycling Accidents: Some Common Injuries & Causes

cycling accidents

Cycling accidents are some of the most serious types of crashes on the road. When a cyclist comes face to face with a motor vehicle, the results are often grievous. In 2014 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported approximately 50,000 cyclist injuries. (1)

Therefore, given the severity and prevalence of such accidents, it’s critical to educate yourself about proper cycling safety. It’s also important to know your legal rights. In many cases, cyclists who have been involved in a cycling accident can sue for damages. So for those who face significant medical bills and lost income, that can mean the difference between financial ruin and the road to recovery.

Important Cycling Accident Statistics To Understand

cycling accident statistics

There are currently many measures in place to encourage people to ride their bikes instead of using other means of transport. These measures should also make the road safer for cyclists in general. However, this initiative gets a little undermined by the cycling accident statistics in our country.

That’s why this article will focus on the most prominent statistics that everyone should be aware of.

Casualties

Every year in the United States, around 800 cyclists die because they’re involved in a serious traffic accident. This means that people are killed due to bicycle accidents every day. Even more alarming is the fact that this is a number that has been getting higher over the years. Before the year 2018, the number was lower than 800, but since then it has been getting worse.

However, it’s striking to note that while the number of death has been increasing, the number of accidents, in general, hasn’t. This means that according to these statistics, there are currently fewer accidents, but when they do arise, it’s more likely that there are deaths. Thus, the measures that are in place are working to some extent, but there is still a long way to go.

Furthermore, bicycle accident statistics have shown us another noteworthy piece of information. Namely, when accidents result in the death of a cyclist, it’s almost always the case that a motor vehicle is involved somehow.

This is not to say that motor vehicles always are a danger to other road users, but it does show that cyclists are overall very vulnerable when they’re in traffic. Thus, while it’s good that there already are measures in place to make the roads safer for cyclists, there is still a lot of room for improvement until the road is completely safe to use for them.

Rush Hour Is The Danger Time

Lastly, thanks to these statistics, it’s now clear that most of the fatal accidents occur when it’s rush hour. This includes both in the morning and in the evening. Therefore, when people are rushing to their workplace or when people are heading back home, it’s technically the most dangerous time for cyclists to be in traffic. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Especially, when there are a lot of people on the road. This means the chances of there being accidents are always higher.

Demographics

About 90% of all fatal bicycle accidents occur in the city area. In rural areas, however, the problem doesn’t seem nearly as big. That’s because cities are generally a lot more densely populated and thus, people live closer together. As a result, there is a lot more traffic in city areas. This means that there is a higher chance that bicycle accidents (and other types of accidents) will occur.

The statistics have also shown us that male cyclists are about 4 times more likely than females to sustain injuries in a bicycle accident. There are a few reasons for this. They range from the fact that men take their bikes more often, to the fact that men are also more likely to take certain risks when they’re in traffic.

Common Injuries Sustained In Cycling Accidents

Injuries sustained in cycling accidents can be particularly serious. The severity depends largely on the speed, place of impact, and type of impact. Some of the most common cycling injuries include:

  • Head trauma, including concussion
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Herniated discs
  • Amputation
  • Minor cuts, scrapes, sprains, and dislocations

Bicycle Accidents In The Chicago Area

Although Chicago boasts some of the best bicycle accommodations among the nation’s large cities, cycling accidents remain a serious problem. With a 150 percent increase in the number of cyclists traversing the city streets since the beginning of the 21st century, bike safety has become more important than ever.

Unfortunately, bike accidents remain common in Chicago. In fact, they are becoming more frequent, at least as a percentage of total traffic crashes. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, 32 cyclists died between 2005 and 2010 and nearly 9,000 sustained injuries. Even though the number of fatal crashes decreased by nearly a quarter in the same period, the number of injuries increased by roughly the same percentage. (2)

Common Causes Of Cycling Accidents

Both driver and cyclist error is responsible for most bike accidents. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, the most common cyclist error was riding against traffic while the most common motorist error was a failure to yield.

Indeed, while cyclist error is responsible for at least some of the nation’s accidents, drivers bear a great responsibility. All too often, reckless, distracted, or even aggressive drivers cause serious harm to cyclists.

Therefore, despite efforts to educate motorists, many still refuse to share the road. That means that even cyclists who follow all of the recommended safety precautions are at high risk of severe injury.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN A CYCLING ACCIDENT, CALL (800) 722-9744 NOW
To Speak To An Experienced Injury Lawyer FOR FREE.

Since 1996, the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates have been helping Cycling Accident victims, all injured victims and their families, navigate the complex legal process. As experienced personal injury, worker’s compensation, and wrongful death attorneys, we can help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf.

Marc J. Shuman & Associates has over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 20,000 injury victims and their families, recovering over 50 million dollars on their behalf.  We advocate on your behalf, so you can focus on the task of recovery.

Sources:
1. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812282
2. http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/cdot/bike/general/BikeCrashReport2012.pd

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