The Bottom Line is that Bicycle Accidents Can Be Deadly

Posted by Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC on September 14, 2018

A two-ton machine and an aluminum mix can be a lethal match. In fact, few would debate that bicycle accidents can be deadly. When a motor vehicle makes contact with a bike, the force is great at any speed. Victims who survive are often left with permanent and serious injuries.

Year after year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases reports regarding all types of traffic accidents. The most recent statistics regarding bicycle crashes are for 2015. During that year, 818 pedalcyclists died as a result of an accident involving a motor vehicle. That number was up over 12% since the prior year. Meanwhile, approximately 45,000 people sustained injuries due to bike accidents during that same period.

One caveat. These numbers may be underreported. For one, they only include bicycle crashes that occurred on public roadways. Therefore, if an accident happened in a parking lot or a driveway – it would not be included in the statistical data.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

Among reporting other critical issues, the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security maintains its own bank of information concerning bicycle crashes. It provides data current through the second quarter of 2018. Although there were only two fatal accidents in the state during that time period, many more suffered injuries while riding their bikes.

Bicycle crashes happened most in Shelby County, followed by Davidson and Hamilton counties. Statistics show that a great majority of bike accidents occur in urban areas. It would, therefore, make sense that many of these crashes happened in Memphis, Nashville or Chattanooga.

The root cause of bicycle accidents appears to remain consistent. The findings show that crashes involving cyclists and cars or trucks are often related to:

  • Motor vehicle operator did not see a bicycle rider
  • One of the parties ran through a red light
  • Cyclist or driver failed to obey stop sign
  • Drunk driving was a factor

Notably, more males than females are injured or killed in bicycle accidents. The vast majority of crashes occur during 6 PM and 9 PM. Interesting enough, at least a third of all fatal bicycle accident victims were over the age of 45.  In most cases, motorists were actually at fault for the accident. Inattentiveness was also a significant factor – including issues with distracted driving.

The cause of some bicycle crashes may also be related to the pedalcyclist’s failure to obey traffic laws or give necessary turn signals. Additionally, problems with the design or manufacture of a bike may contribute to bike accidents.

Contact Us

The bottom line is that bicycle crashes can cause severe injuries and even death. Problems can easily arise regarding medical bill payment and other financial losses. In order to file a claim, it is best to seek experienced legal advice. Contact Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC to see how can help!

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