Bicycling as way to commute is rising in popularity around the world. More people are health conscious today, as well as worried about their budgets. Bicycling is an inexpensive way to get around (especially with the cost of gas the last few years), and it provides good exercise.
In the United States, the American Community Survey from the Census Bureau indicates that in 2012 there was a year-over-year increase of nearly 10 percent for bicycle commutes. In 2012, there were 865,883 bike commuters in the United States.
However, as the number of bike commuters rises, so, too, do the injuries. The OECD released a report on cycling in December 2013. This report indicates that, even with the increase in bike commuters in the United States, our country still lags behind others. However, even though we have the lowest number of per-capita cyclists, we have the highest number of per-capita bike-related fatalities.
This reality means that you need to be aware of the dangers associated with riding your bike around, especially in a large city like Las Vegas.
OECD Stats About Bike Fatalities
The OECD’s report included a number of statistics about bicycle-related fatalities in the United States. Here are some of the things to be aware of as you pedal around the streets of Las Vegas:
About 17 percent of cycling fatalities are hit-and-run accidents. While this doesn’t seem like much, compare it to the fact that hit-and-run for all traffic fatalities was 4 percent during the same period, and it seems much more alarming. If you are hit while cycling, there is a higher chance that the driver of the vehicle will take off and leave you.
25 percent of deceased cyclists that have an alcohol test performed in fatal crashes have a blood alcohol level above 0.08 mg/ltr. This is a level that is consistent with a drunk-driving offense in all the states. Don’t ride your bike if you are intoxicated.
Cyclists running red lights is one of the contributory factors often cited in fatal accidents involving bikes. Remember to obey traffic laws even if you are on a bicycle.
In 46 percent of fatal accidents involving cyclists, investigators found that the motorists didn’t contribute to the accident. This relates to the point above — obey the traffic laws.
Even if you aren’t involved in a fatal accident while you bicycle to and from work, it’s possible to be injured. The OECD report only addresses fatal accidents, and not all accidents involving injuries. The CDC estimates that in 2010 more than 500,000 emergency room visits were due to bicycle injuries.
Whenever you ride your bike, make sure that you observe traffic laws, and that you take precautions, such as wearing lights and reflective material if you travel at night, and wearing a helmet to protect against head injury.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Contact a Lawyer
If you are injured while riding your bicycle, it’s a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney. Sometimes, even if you aren’t at fault in the accident, a motorist might try to say that the accident is at least partially your fault, leading the insurer to reject a portion of your claim and leave you with some of the expense.
It’s important that you are fairly represented whenever you are injured. Your personal injury attorney can help you sort through what’s fair, and tell your side of the side of the story. Additionally, he or she can help you get the compensation you deserve when you are injured through the fault of another.
Biking can be a great way to get good exercise and save money, but you need to make sure you are careful.