Each year, many bicyclists are injured or even killed when they are struck by vehicles. Some bicyclists are injured off the road, of course, but many are hit by negligent drivers who are either drunk, distracted, going over the speed limit, or simply ignoring their responsibilities behind the wheel. An injured bicyclist may struggle in many ways following a collision, whether they are immobilized for a period of time or the rest of their life, struggle paying hospital costs, or have emotional trauma from the incident. As a result, it is important for bicyclists and drivers to focus on preventing these accidents and understand the magnitude of this problem.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, emergency rooms saw more than 531,000 injuries that were connected to bicycle accidents during 2013. Many of these injuries were the result of a bicyclist falling off his or her bike, but 14.2 percent were caused by a bicyclist being hit by a vehicle, the second most common cause of bicyclist injuries during 2013. There are a variety of risk factors associated with these accidents, such as alcohol and drug use. When an intoxicated bicyclist or intoxicated driver take to the road, the outcome can be disastrous.
Unfortunately, it is inevitable that more and more people will continue to be hurt in bike accidents. On the road, those riding bikes are particularly vulnerable, so it is vital for bicyclists to identify any ways to protect themselves (helmet use, reflective clothing, etc.). Moreover, reckless drivers should not get away scot-free.