Whether it is form commuting purposes, fitness, or fun, more and more people are handing in their car keys for two wheels as they opt into bicycling as a way to get from place to place or exercise. Major cities—as well as college towns like Tempe—have made huge strides in making their streets bike friendly, including adding miles and miles of bike lanes and traffic control changes aimed at incorporating cyclists into the safe flow of traffic.
People around the country are responding positively to these changes, and the number of people traveling by bike is constantly growing. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently released a report on accident data between 2010 and 2012 that showed bicycle accidents are up—way up, by 16%--while auto accidents have only increased by one percent in the same time frame.
While a large majority of the accidents are occurring in large cities, these are the same places seeing the huge growth in bicycle commuter numbers. Accidents in urban areas accounted for 69% of accidents, while bicycle commuters have increased by 60% in just over a decade.
Those killed most often seemed to be males, who totaled a whopping 88% of 2012 bicycle fatalities. Of all bicycle fatalities, over 66% were not wearing helmets, and 28% of all riders over the age of 16 had blood alcohol concentrations above 0.08 percent, a number on par with car accident fatalities, in which 33% of drivers fatally injured had 0.08 percent BAC or higher.
The report, which you can read here, stated that helmet use would be the most effective combatant against bicycle deaths, especially as new riders are expected to continually increase in numbers. Other safety measures included improving infrastructure to accommodate both vehicle and bikes, as well as offering easily available education courses for both motorists and cyclists to learn how to better share the road.
Throughout the Valley, many cities and towns are trying to make bicycling a safer pursuit, but there are still several notorious areas where bicycles and cars have difficulty sharing the roadways. As you hit the streets on your bike this winter, be sure to ride safely, but also know your rights when it comes to traffic laws and accidents.
If you have been injured on a bicycle in the Valley, you have important allies that can help you get the compensation you are owed. Call the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Curry, Pearson & Wooten today for a free consultation today.