Bicycle-Car Collisions, Risk, and Prevention

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a study which shows that, on average, two people are killed every day in bicycle-car collisions. In addition, over 130 are injured daily under the same circumstances. According to the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, South Carolina is the second-most dangerous state for people on bikes and has a fatality rate of 13.5 deaths per 10,000 cyclists. It has been suggested that the state's high rate of bike accidents is a result of two major components. First, South Carolina has devoted much of its budget to improving interstate road conditions, but little to making the roads safe for cyclists. Secondly, the state also has one of the lowest numbers of riders in the country. This means that drivers simply aren't looking for them. Because riders are more vulnerable to trauma, this is a dangerous and deadly combination.

Risk Factors

Aside from the components specific to South Carolina, there have been several other commonalities noted by the NHTSA. About half of all bicycle-car collisions occur between the hours of 4pm and midnight. This is probably a result of reduced visibility. Accidents are also more likely to happen in an urban area and not at an intersection. Males are significantly more at risk for being injured or killed. The group with the largest incidence of death is men between the ages of 45-54 and those with the greatest risk for injury are boys aged 10-15.

Causes

In more than one-third of cases, alcohol plays a role and is consumed by either the driver or the cyclist prior to the accident. In many of the cases involving fatalities, bikes are struck from behind. It has also been noted that cars are ten-times more likely to sideswipe a bike than the other way around. In some cases, it can be difficult to prove whether the rider or driver was at fault. In these situations, it's essential to have a lawyer on your side.

Safety

The majority of fatalities are a result of head trauma, so it's essential for all riders to wear helmets. Because accidents are happening mainly in urban areas, more funding needs to go into projects aimed at making the roads safer. There should be a focus on adding bike lanes and supplementary space so that cars don't have to divert course to avoid an accident. Until that happens, riders should take extra steps to make themselves more visible, especially at dusk. Reflective tape on the bike, helmet, and rider is beneficial, as is wearing bright-colored clothing. Cycling is picking up momentum in the U.S. This is a result of increased health concern and rising gas prices, as well as a growing social movement to become more eco-friendly. As the number of riders increase, there is hope drivers will become more aware of their presence, and fewer accidents will occur.

Charleston Bicycle-Car Collision Attorneys

Accidents involving bikes and vehicles are particularly traumatic and can require extensive medical care. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a driver's negligence, we can help ensure that you receive the compensation you need and deserve. Tell us about your case using our online form or call us today at 1(800)610-2546.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, business tort, or workplace injury. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.