The increasing popularity of bicycling in the U.S. for recreation, exercise, and commuting has brought to light the critical issue of the safety of cyclists on the road, particularly when it comes to crashes with motor vehicles. This blog provides statistics on the realities of car versus bicycle accidents, explains why these crashes are so deadly, and highlights the severity of injuries that typically occur.
Were you injured in a car/bike collision? Contact Litster Frost Injury Lawyers to determine whether you have the right to seek compensation. Reach out to us online or call our office today to speak with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Idaho for free.
Car vs. Bike Accident Statistics
- On average, nearly 900 cyclists are killed in car vs. bicycle crashes in the U.S. annually.
- Cycling makes up only 1% of all transportation in the U.S. However, bicyclists account for over 2% of traffic fatalities.
- Males are six times more likely to be injured in a bike crash than females.
- Approximately 64% of cyclist fatalities occur on roadways where high speeds are permitted.
- 27% of bicyclist deaths occur in or around intersections.
- Around ⅓ of car vs. bicycle accidents occur as a result of either the driver or cyclist being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Why Bicycle Crashes Often Lead to Serious Injuries and Death
To understand the vulnerability of cyclists, it is important to know the factors that put them at risk.
Bicycles are less noticeable on the road as compared to motor vehicles. This lack of visibility makes it difficult for drivers to see and avoid cyclists, particularly in high-traffic areas, intersections, or at night. The limited visibility places cyclists at a higher risk of collisions since motorists may not be aware of the cyclist’s presence and fail to take necessary precautions to avoid a crash.
Lack of Protection
Vehicle occupants benefit from the protective structure of their vehicle. However, cyclists have minimal physical protection. Since bicycles aren’t equipped with airbags, seat belts, or metal frames, cyclists are fully exposed to the impact in the event of a crash. This minimal protection makes cyclists more likely to sustain severe, even fatal, injuries.
In many areas in Idaho, the lack of dedicated bike lanes or safe cycling infrastructure increases the likelihood of car vs. bicycle crashes.
Motorists who don’t operate their vehicles safely put cyclists in danger. Speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol significantly increase the risk of fatal accidents involving bicyclists.
The risk of fatal car vs. bicycle collisions varies by location. Urban areas, with their higher amount of traffic and greater interaction between cars and bicycles, typically see more bicycle accidents.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicyclists are at extreme risk of sustaining serious, often fatal, injuries when they are hit by a motor vehicle. Vulnerable due to their lack of protection, cyclists can suffer the following injuries:
- Head injuries - Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries are responsible for more than 60% of bicycle fatalities.
- Spinal cord injuries - Cyclists can suffer nerve damage, bone fractures, and damage to the disks in the spine. Damage to the spinal cord can cause changes to a person’s sensation, strength, and body function, including permanent paralysis, and can sometimes be fatal.
- Facial injuries - In the event of an accident, cyclists often suffer facial lacerations, eye injuries, dental injuries, broken noses, and broken or dislocated jaws.
- Broken bones - Cyclists commonly sustain broken bones in car/bike crashes. Bones often broken include collarbones, femurs, arm bones, hip and pelvic bones, and bones in the hands, wrists, and fingers.
- Internal organ damage/internal bleeding - Bicyclists can also suffer from internal bleeding or damage to one or more of their organs, including their liver, kidneys, and spleen.
Contact an Idaho Bicycle Accident Lawyer to Learn More
Car vs. bicycle crashes in the United States are a significant concern due to the high potential for severe or fatal injuries to cyclists. While efforts are being made to improve bicycle safety, the alarming statistics show the need for continued education, infrastructure, and legal measures to protect both cyclists and motorists.
If you suffered injuries in a car/bike crash, you may have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To discuss the details of your accident and determine whether you are entitled to damages from the other party, contact Litster Frost Injury Lawyers. Our skilled and dedicated team of Idaho bicycle accident attorneys are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.