As the weather cools, more people will opt for outdoor activities and transportation. Bicycling is a popular way to experience the outdoors, get exercise, or get where you need to go. Unfortunately, bicycling can also be dangerous on Houston’s busy roadways. Here is some helpful information about bicycle crash statistics and safety tips that may help you enjoy bicycling with the knowledge and confidence needed to stay safe.
Bicycle Crash Statistics
In terms of statistics, bicyclists are often lumped together with pedestrians. With this in mind, consider the following statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Children are more likely to be victims of accidents as bicyclists or pedestrians than adults.
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents often involve a driver or bicyclist with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of 0.08 or more.
- Texas is one of the three leading states reporting bicyclist fatalities.
- In 2014, 726 bicyclists were killed in accidents with motor vehicles.
- Estimated bicyclist injuries increased to 50,000 in 2014.
- Only a fraction of bicycle accidents are reported to police, meaning these numbers may be significantly higher.
- Bicycle accidents cost a reported $10 billion in 2010.
- In 2014, 4,884 pedestrians were killed in similar accidents.
- In 2014, 65,000 pedestrians were injured in accidents involving motor vehicles.
- The total cost of pedestrian injuries among children (14 and under) is more than $5 billion per year.
Bicycle Safety Tips
The risks associated with bicycling are primarily vulnerability of the cyclist. Unlike motor vehicle operators, bicyclists do not have the same protection of metal and fiber glass. Wearing a helmet can certainly help avoid serious injuries or death, but it is often no match for the size, weight, and force of a motor vehicle.
To keep you and your family safe while bicycling, consider the following safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Always wear a helmet – Helmet use can reduce the risk of brain injury significantly if a crash occurs. Laws requiring children to wear helmets are effective in reducing the number of fatal bicycle crashes among children.
- Increase visibility – When bicycling, wear brightly colored or reflective clothing. Add reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape to your bicycle, helmet, or outerwear to improve visibility at night.
- Light your way – Equip your bicycle with a headlight and rear lights. This will help improve visibility and help you stay aware of possible dangers on the roadway.
- Plot a course – Before bicycling, plot a course and determine if there are bicycle lanes, sidewalks, or roadways you need to cross. Always review laws in your area to make sure you are operating your bicycle appropriately.
What to do After a Bicycle Crash
As these bicycle crash statistics show, cyclists may be more vulnerable than motor vehicle operators. However, bicyclists have legal protections and the right to a safe roadway environment. If you have been injured in a bicycle crash caused by someone else, contact Daic Law to learn more about your legal rights. We can help you determine what your legal options are to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.