In recent years, the number of bicycle riders losing their lives in motor vehicle collisions has increased even as the overall number of motor vehicle accident deaths has gone down. However, not every demographic group is at equal risk of dying in bike accidents. A recent report published by the Governors’ Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) reveals that certain groups are much more likely to die in a bike crash than others. In particular, the GHSA warns that “bicycle fatalities are increasingly an urban phenomenon.”
For riders and drivers in Atlanta, the risk of bike accidents is a significant risk. Drivers need to be aware of bicycle riders on the road and take reasonable steps to protect these riders from getting hurt. When a bike collision happens, an Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer should be consulted for help taking legal action.
Who is at Risk of Atlanta Bike Accident Fatalities?
Although the number of people dying in car crashes has generally been trending downwards, this is not true for bicycle riders. Between 2010 and 2012, overall motor vehicle deaths increased just one percent while annual bicycle accident deaths increased 16 percent. The number of bicycle riders killed in motor vehicle collisions increased in a total of 22 states during this time period.
The demographics of who is riding, and who is dying in crashes, has shifted during as more people have embraced bicycle riding. In 1975, for example, adults aged 20 and up represented only 21 percent of bicycle accident fatalities. In 2012, adults in this age group accounted for a full 84 percent of the people who were killed. It is not just kids riding bikes who are in danger today, but instead an ever-increasing number of older people who commute on bicycles are facing the risk of injury or death in accidents.
Those in urban centers, such as Atlanta, are facing the greatest risks. Bikers in urban areas accounted for 69 percent of bicycle accident deaths in 2012 compared with just 50 percent of fatalities in 1975. Since there has been a 62 percent increase in bicycling commuters since 2000, this phenomenon makes sense. The high populations in urban centers means that there is a higher level of exposure to bicycles as well as more interaction between bikes and cars. This naturally increases accident risks.
State highway safety offices are reportedly recognizing the risks that riders face and are dedicating more resources to ensure that bicycle riders, as well as all road users, are safe. Infrastructure changes and education of bicyclists and drivers are some of the tactics being usd to help bring the death rate down. Ultimately, however, it is up to the individual rider and driver to ensure that they are exercising an appropriate level of care to avoid bike collisions that could be deadly.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury in a motor vehicle crash. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.