According to bike accident surveys, approximately 50,000 cyclists get hurt on U.S. roads every year and several hundred die. For instance, 630 bicyclists died in 2009. And 60% of all fatalities involved head injuries. Some analysts believe that bike injuries are actually under-reported, since only injuries serious enough to lead to emergency room visits get counted in the data.
If you or someone you love was involved in a serious bicycle accident, you need a Louisville, KY bike accident lawyer who’s willing to fight on your behalf. But first, here are the facts:
Bike Accidents Are Not Random
Multiple factors can increase (or decrease) your risk for getting into a serious cycling accident. If you wear a properly fitted helmet, for instance, you may be able to reduce your risk of a traumatic head injury by up to 85%. And that’s important, since approximately 12% of cycling injuries are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Male cyclists are far more at risk for fatal accidents and injuries than are female cyclists. One study conducted in 2009, for instance, found that nearly 90% of bicyclists killed on the roads were male.
In addition to wearing a helmet, you can reduce your risk of injury and crashes by taking the following measures:
- Avoid driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications
- Tune up your bike regularly, so that it’s mechanically sound
- Avoid busy intersections and streets with significant congestion
- Observe all posted signs (especially stop signs)
- Stay hydrated and well nourished – fatigued, dehydrated cyclists can be at higher risk for injury
Why Bike Accidents are So Dangerous – And What You Can Do About Them
Bicyclists are at a mechanical disadvantage on the roads. All other motor vehicles, including motorcycles, passenger cars, buses, SUVs, and trucks, are all much more massive than bicycles. This means that, when these larger vehicles collide with your bicycle, they impart a substantially greater force onto your bike than your bike can “reciprocate.” In other words, the accident is almost always going to be worse for the lower mass vehicle, and your bike is low on the “mass” totem pole.
Furthermore, while cars and trucks have crumple zones, airbags, and seatbelts, bicycles are essentially denuded of these protections. Hence, riders are much more vulnerable to the forces imparted during collisions.
An Attorney Who Will Protect Your Recovery Process
In the wake of a bike accident, fast, decisive action is key. Collect as much information from the scene of the crash as possible. If you have a cell phone handy, take pictures of the damage, including your injuries as well as your damaged bike. Trade information with the driver of the car that hit you. Or, if you’re too hurt, ask a witness or friend to take down information for you.
As soon as possible after the crash, you may want to connect with a Louisville, KY bike accident lawyer to learn how to protect your rights to potentially get money to pay for your broken bike, your injuries, and long-term medical costs. Attorney Tad Thomas can provide a confidential and comprehensive case evaluation for you. Connect with him today at (502) 473-6540, or explore other resources to make sense of your accident injury on the site.