Bicycle riding is good for your health and positive for the environment. As a result of the benefits of bicycling, bike riding has become an increasingly popular way of commuting, especially in urban areas. Unfortunately, an accident lawyer in Orlando knows with more bicycle riders on the roads, the risk of bicycle accidents and fatalities has increased significantly.
Bicycle Accident Deaths Have Risen, Especially Among Certain Groups
Recently, the Governors' Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has taken a close look at the number of bike accident deaths as well as at the demographic groups who are most affected by the rise in bike accident fatalities.
According to the GHSA, there has been a 16 percent increase in deadly bicycle collisions between 2010 and 2012. This is a significant increase, especially in light of the fact that the overall number of motor vehicle accident deaths over the course of this same period of time increased just 1 percent.
The number of deadly bicycle accidents increased in nearly half of all U.S. states. However, just six states accounted for an astonishing 54 percent of deadly bicycle collisions. The six states where more than half of the deaths included Florida, as well as California, Michigan, Illinois, New York and Texas.
The increase in bike accident deaths has been particularly worrisome in urban areas. For example, in 1975, only about 50 percent of fatal bike accidents happened in urban locations. By 2012, a total of 69 percent of the fatalities among bicycle riders happened in cities.
The reason for the rise in urban crashes is the increase in the number of people commuting on their bikes, especially in cities like Orlando where living, working and entertainment spaces are in close proximity to each other.
Between 2010 and 2012, there was a 62 percent hike in the number of adults who use their bikes to commute, with much of this increase happening in the urban areas where accident deaths are increasing. The increased use of bikes as a way to get to work or class has also changed the age of bike accident victims.
In 1975, around 21 percent of the people who were killed in bicycle accidents were over the age of 20. By 2012, however, 84 percent of the victims of bicycle accidents were 20-years-old or older.
One thing that has remained consistent is that men are much more likely than women are to die in bicycle accidents. In 2012, for example, 88 percent of the people who were killed were males and 74 percent were adult men.
Bike riders may sometimes do things that lead to collisions occurring. For example, in an estimated 28 percent of deadly bicycle collisions, the bicycle rider had a blood-alcohol concentration that was above the permissible legal limit. In Florida, even this does not bar recovery of damages from the driver, as this state allows recovery of damages even when plaintiff is up to 99 percent at fault. Compensation is simply reduced by the percentage of fault shared by plaintiff.
In many other cases, however, the bicycle rider is killed solely by the negligence of a driver or because roads are not designed with the safety of bike riders in mind. It is imperative that reasonable precautions be taken by both drivers and traffic engineers to make sure bicycle riders are safe.
Central Florida accident victims and families who lost loved ones can contact Orlando personal injury attorney Richard B. Troutman by calling 866-434-5770 or visit http://www.richardtroutman.com. Serving Orlando, Winter Park, FL and surrounding areas.