As many bicyclists in Minnesota may already know, sharing a roadway with motor vehicles can be dangerous for bicyclists. While traffic accidents involving bicycles account for hundreds of deaths per year, they cause tens of thousands of nonfatal injuries as well.
To be more specific, around 50,000 people are injured in bicycle accidents every year, and that number appears to be climbing, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, authorities point out that it is difficult to capture the entirety of the issue with certainty, as a significant portion of all bicycling injuries are never reported. Nevertheless, authorities estimate that bicycles, while only accounting for 1 percent of all trips taken in America, represent two percent of all traffic fatalities. In 2012, approximately two bicyclists in America were killed in collisions with cars per day.
According to statistics, cars represent the single biggest source of injury for bicyclists, with 29 percent of all reported bicycle injuries deriving from a collision with an automobile. The National Safety Council estimates that more than $4 billion is lost due to death and injuries resulting from bicycle accidents every year.
Bicycle accidents that involve cars put the bicyclist in a vulnerable position. In many cases, the bicyclist suffers injury or death while the driver of the automobile escapes the accident unharmed.
However, bicyclists who suffer injuries in relation to a traffic accident may wish to consult with a personal injury lawyer following the incident. In the event that the driver involved in the collision is found to be at fault, the bicyclist may be awarded compensation for damages. Families of deceased accident victims may also pursue civil action, seeking restitution with the help of a wrongful death attorney.
Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, “Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics“, October 27, 2014