BICYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
In 2018, there were 857 bicyclists killed in traffic, in one year, in the U.S. It's noted that this was by far the most deadly year for cyclists. There were thousands of injuries, including broken bones and brain injuries. Most bicyclist deaths occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and overwhelmingly yet unsurprisingly in urban areas as opposed to rural areas. While Denver is ranked as one of the most bike-friendly cities, with over 260 paved bike paths, accidents still occur nearly every day around the metro area.
For those who survive these types of accidents, the injuries are often life-altering. If you or a loved one is injured as a bicyclist or pedestrian you should remember the following:
How To Avoid a Bicycle Accident
Be Safe, Be Seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
- Control Your Bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
- Watch For and Avoid Road Hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash. If you are riding with friends and you are in the lead, yell out and point to the hazard to alert the riders behind you.
- Avoid Riding at Night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day because you are harder for others to see. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others. Make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle (white lights on the front and red rear reflectors are required by law in many states), in addition to reflectors on your tires, so others can see you.
- Go With the Traffic Flow. Ride on the right in the same direction as other vehicles. Go with the flow -- not against it.
- Obey All Traffic Laws. A bicycle is a vehicle and you are a driver. When you ride in the street, obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
- Yield to Traffic When Appropriate. Almost always, drivers on a smaller road must yield (wait) for traffic on a major or larger road. If there is no stop sign or traffic signal and you are coming from a smaller roadway (out of a driveway, from a sidewalk, a bike path, etc.), you must slow down and look to see if the way is clear before proceeding. This also means yielding to pedestrians who have already entered a crosswalk.
- Be Predictable. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars. Signal your moves to others.
What To Do If You Are Injured in Bicycle Accident
- Call 911. Document the collision with the police and seek medical attention as your injuries could be internal or develop after the at-fault driver leaves.
- Do not move until emergency responders arrive. Movement can aggravate your injuries or cause them to become permanent.
- Get the driver’s information, even if you feel fine at the scene. It is not uncommon for pain to gradually increase after the adrenaline subsides. Without the driver’s name, address, license number, and insurance information, you may never be able to make a claim if your symptoms worsen.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.