In addition to being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, May is also Bicycle Safety Month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is calling on bicycle riders and drivers to be “Roll Models” this month, and all yearlong. Although they’re promoting bicycle safety this month, the NHTSA is quick to point out that bicycle safety should be observed every day of the year. Bicycle riders continue to be one of the more vulnerable roadway user groups. They just don’t have the same safety protections as passenger vehicle occupants. Without seat belts or air bags, they’re counting on drivers to pay attention to the road and practice safe and lawful driving techniques.
Bicycle Crashes by The Numbers
- In 2013, an estimated 48,000 cyclists were injured in crashes.
- 743 cyclists were killed in crashes in 2013.
- In 2013, cyclist deaths accounted for two percent of all traffic fatalities.
- 68 percent of all cyclist deaths occurred in urban areas in 2013.
- Over a 10-year period (2004-2013), the average age of cyclists killed in crashes has increased from 39 to 44.
- The cyclist death rate per capita was almost seven times greater for males than females in 2013.
Improving Personal Safety on Bicycles
The NHTSA has a variety of tips and recommendations for improving personal safety before hitting the road on a bicycle. First and foremost, wearing a helmet is the most effective way to protect yourself in the event of a crash. Bicycle accidents often involve the rider being ejected and injured on impact. Protect yourself from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) by wearing a helmet. You can also improve safety by wearing brightly colored clothes, adding blinking lights and reflectors to your bicycle and always practicing safe riding habits. Unfortunately, even with all the proper safety precautions, it’s still possible to become severely or catastrophically injured in a crash with a distracted or impaired driver.
Be a Roll Model: Pay Attention to the Road
The best way to practice being a “Roll Model” is by making a commitment to distraction-free driving. Distracted drivers can’t share the road safely with cyclists or any other roadway users. Since cyclists don’t have the same safety protections as other vehicle occupants, they’re at an increased risk of injury or death when involved in car accidents.
If you or a cyclist you love has been injured in Wichita Falls, contact the Altman Legal Group at 940-761-4000 for a free case consultation today.