Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Attorney
In recent years, more people have begun commuting to work via bicycle, especially in major metropolitan areas. Philadelphia’s bicycle commuting rate is 2.3 percent – the highest per-capita rate among the 10 largest U.S. cities.
When bikes share the road with motorists, accidents can and do occur. The risk of a an accident between a bicycle and motor vehicle increases in areas without bike lanes, when drivers are inattentive, or when drivers can’t see cyclists well because of weather or lighting.
Inattention is a major factor in all vehicle accidents, and when a cyclist is peddling along the side of the road, a driver’s momentary lapse in awareness could result in serious injury or death.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident and believe a motorist was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us today for a no-obligation consultation at 1-800-LAW-6600.
Bicycle Injury Trends
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bicyclists that collide with vehicles on public roads die at double the rate of motor vehicle occupants, yet cyclists account for only 1 percent of all transportation trips. While bicycle-crash fatalities have decreased overall, statistics indicate that people who use bicycles to commute to work are at greater risk of a fatal crash.
The CDC reports that between 1975 and 2012, bicycle roadway fatalities declined 44 percent, and the largest decrease was among children younger than 15. In that same time, the largest increase in bicycle fatalities was in the 35-to-54 age group.
Researchers who wrote about these trends noted that there are several factors affecting fatal bike crashes that could not be accurately measured. The data researchers analyzed doesn’t include crashes on private roads or crashes that didn’t involve motor vehicles. The data also doesn’t show individual bicyclists’ experiences – such as the average number of miles traveled or average length of trip. But researchers concluded that adults do have a high risk of being fatally injured when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle.
Researchers for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that certain types of car-bike collisions are more deadly than others. Of the 3,300 cyclists who died in crashes between 2008 and 2012, 74 percent were hit by the front end of a car. And in 45 percent of those crashes, the car and bicyclist were traveling in the same direction when the car hit the cyclist from behind.
Non-Fatal Bike Injuries
In a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Social Medicine, researchers analyzed types of non-fatal bicycle crash injuries by reviewing medical records and interviewing patients. They found:
- The average hospital stay was eight days for adults and six days for children.
- For cyclists injured in a crash with a motor vehicle, the average time off work was 127 days.
- For inpatients, persistent disability was reported for 11 percent of children, 47 percent of adults, and 67 percent of elderly cyclists.
- The most severe outcome of car-bike crashes was intracranial injuries, which include traumatic brain injury and hemorrhage; of cyclists hospitalized for this type of injury, 4 percent had severe cognitive or behavioral changes, and 3 percent were determined permanently unable to return to work.
Drivers who speed down city streets, follow cyclists too closely, or simply fail to pay attention put bicyclists in danger. A collision with a motor vehicle can result in long-term medical costs for bicyclists, and drivers who cause such crashes should be held financially accountable for their actions.
The attorneys at Wapner Newman have worked tirelessly to protect the rights of people injured by negligent drivers. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, call us today at 1-800-LAW-6600.
Philadelphia Bicycle Safety Measures
In May 2015, the Philadelphia Streets Department announced multiple improvements to city streets that will include 10 miles of new bike lanes, including two protected lanes.
Unlike buffered lanes that are defined by painted markings, protected lanes have a physical barrier between cyclists and cars. In Philadelphia, the buffer will be a parking area, with a bumpy barrier that prevents cars from parking in bike lanes.
Bike lanes may help reduce the number of car-bike collisions. Enhanced technology could also help reduce crashes. The IIHS researchers who identified rear-end collisions as the most dangerous for cyclists said car accident-avoidance systems could be engineered to recognize not just cars, but the backs of cyclists, and that such a change would “mitigate a large portion of the crashes that kill people traveling on two wheels.”
Relief for Cyclists
Cities that build travel lanes for cyclists are helping protect people from serious injury. Nevertheless, reckless drivers are an ever-present danger on the roads.
If a driver caused injury to you or another cyclist in your family, you may be entitled to compensation. Find out how we can help you. For a free no-obligation consultation, call us at 1-800-LAW-6600, or fill out our online contact form.