Bicycling is not only an enjoyable pastime for adults and children alike, but also a healthy and convenient way to travel for many Hoosiers. Additionally, according to studies, it is increasingly common, especially for commuting. Unfortunately, though, despite efforts at safety precautions, bicyclists are still at risk for dangerous bicycle accidents.
Many bicycle accidents involve collisions with motor vehicles, and, tragically, fatal bicycle-motor vehicle collisions are on the rise, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. In 2010, 621 bicyclists died after collisions with motor vehicles, and in 2012, 722 bicyclists died. This represents a 16 percent increase over a three year time period. Fifteen bicyclists died in Indiana in 2012 and six in Kentucky in the same year.
Increasingly, bicyclist fatalities involve adults 20 years of age or older and are occurring in urban areas. In 1975, adults 20 years or older accounted for only 21 percent of fatalities, whereas in 2012 they accounted for an astounding 84 percent of fatalities. In 1975, about half of fatalities occurred in urban areas, whereas in 2012 approximately 69 percent of fatalities occurred in urban regions. Additionally, the vast majority of bicycle fatalities were attributable to male riders, at 88 percent in 2012.
Of course, many more cyclists suffer serious injuries and broken bones that, though severe, do not lead to death. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, or lost a loved one to such a wreck, that was caused by a negligent or distracted driver, you may have a legal cause of action. A driver may be held accountable for his or her negligence that contributed to an accident. An attorney may be able to offer guidance regarding a potential lawsuit and damages.
Source: Governors Highway Safety Association, "Bicyclist Safety," accessed Sept. 2, 2016