Riding your bike can be great, from both a transportation standpoint, as well as a fitness one. Many people like knowing they are getting their heart rate up and getting around, without having to get into a car. Given the fact that bike riding is a rather positive activity, it is particularly troubling to learn just how many people are hurt or killed in bicycle accidents each year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 900 people were killed and another 494,000 were sent to the hospital following bicycle accidents. And while these numbers are across the country and for 2013, back in November 2014 we reported that California is one of the states where bicycle accidents were more prevalent.
No doubt, the warmer year-round temperatures have something to do with the sheer number of people who ride their bikes in the Sacramento area. This being said, though, nice weather certainly does not paint the entire picture. For while bicyclists do need to be responsible when riding and should take certain safety precautions –- such as wearing a helmet and staying well-lit at night -– motorists also need to take responsibility for a good number of these accidents.
In looking at just who is at risk for getting into a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, the answer is really anyone who rides a bike. This being said though, the CDC does point to adolescents between the ages of 15 and 29, along with adults 45 and older being most at risk for dying in a bicycle accident. Those between the ages of 15 and 24 –- described as being young adults -– along with children between the ages of 5 and 14 reportedly make up close to 52 percent of all visits to the emergency department for bike-related injuries.
After an accident where someone is injured or a loved one is killed, one of the most important steps one can take is to reach out to an attorney with experience handling bicycle accidents. This attorney will be able to help investigate the true cause of the crash and can assist with seeking compensation from those ultimately responsible. As we mentioned earlier, while it is important for bicyclists to take a proactive approach to their well-being, it is equally important for drivers to follow all traffic laws and be on the lookout for bicyclists.