Bicycle Accidents and What You Need to Know
Common Injuries From Bicycle Accidents Include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries and/or Closed Head Injuries (e.g. concussions)
- Bone fractures
- Spinal Cord Injuries (e.g. paralysis)
- Contusions, abrasions also known as “road rash”
- Internal bleeding and damage to vital organs
Usually, these injuries require emergency treatment and extensive trauma care including surgeries and diagnostic procedures such as CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 726 people lost their lives to bicycle-on-motor vehicle crashes in 2014 alone. However, this number only accounts for about two percent of the total number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes in 2014.
About 50,000 bicyclist injuries occurred in 2014. That figure has remained relatively consistent since 2008, with 52,000 injuries occurring in 2008, 51,000 in 2009, 52,000 in 2010, 48,000 in 2011, and 49,000 in 2012. While these numbers are high, research into hospital records shows that only a small amount of bicycle crashes that cause injury are ever reported by the police – this number could be as low as ten percent.
Other data from the NHTSA shows that the average age of bicycle injury victims is increasing over time, with 45 being the average age in 2014. In 2004, the average age was 39, and 32 was the average age in 1998. 88 percent of those killed in 2014 were male, with 71% of fatalities occurring in urban areas and 20 percent of them occurring between the hours of 6 and 9 pm.
19 percent of the bicyclists killed had BAC levels of 0.08 g/dl or higher, and 35 percent of the crashes involved featured either a bicyclist or driver with a BAC level of over 0.08.
Most of the bicyclist fatalities in 2014 occurred in California and Florida, with 139 occurring in Florida and 128 occurring in California.
Car-on-bicycle accidents appear to account for the majority of bicycle-related accidents. According to the “2012 National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors”, nearly a third of bicyclist injuries were caused by car accidents.
Legal Rights of Those Injured
If a bicycle accident results from a breach of one’s duty to act as a reasonable person would act in mitigating the risk of danger, the negligent party can be held liable for the injuries caused. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in such an accident, contact our office immediately.