According to a study done by UC San Francisco spanning the years 1997─2013, bicycling fatalities in the United States increased by an average of 19 each year (totaling over 9,800 during the study period); there were roughly 6,500 more adult bicycling injuries annually in 2013 than in 1997; and medical costs for nonfatal bike crashes ballooned 137 percent. In 2013, men age 45 and older accounted for 54 percent of the medical costs of bicycle accidents, compared to 26 percent in 1997.
Bicycle Accidents and Soaring Medical Costs
Although it is inevitable that the figures for bicycle crashes, injuries, fatalities, and costs would rise with an increase in bicyclists, researchers say other factors are at work as well. In the years before 1997, many bicycle accidents stemmed from non-street incidents. However, more bicyclists are now part of the “regular” roadways. When bicyclists are involved in crashes with cars, the speed and impact result in more severe injuries than they would otherwise.
In more urban areas, the increase in bicycling popularity hass outpaced preparedness. Many American cities don’t have the infrastructure in place for safe bicycling. European cities, in contrast, have more riders but fewer accidents per rider. European cities invest more heavily in bicycle infrastructure—bicycle lanes are just a small part of it—and have been doing it for a long time. Bicycling is ingrained in their culture, unlike the United States.
Even with the increase in negative statistics, bicycling benefits still far outweigh the risks. In the event you are involved in a bicycling accident, contact a bicycle accident attorney to protect your rights.
You Need an Attorney
When you have injuries resulting from a bicycle accident, you need professional representation by an attorney with the experience necessary to win your case. You need a lawyer who you can have full confidence in. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.