The Rising Dangers of Cycling in the U.S.
COVID-19 caused us to make a number of changes in our lives – for some, this included looking to either cycle or walk in order to go from one place to another – especially for those ages 50 and above. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a report indicating that there has been an alarming rise in cyclist accidents and deaths: In 2021, almost 1,000 bicyclists lost their lives in traffic related accidents, reflecting the highest number of fatalities since 1975.
This is a truly alarming statistic, and reflects an inherent disconnect between cyclists relying on our roads and those designing them, who largely have accommodating a larger number of vehicles in mind versus making our roads safe for both drivers and cyclists. Road safety signs and signals do absolutely nothing to increase awareness and there remains a serious issue when it comes to drivers being able to identify cyclists at intersections and turns, specifically.
Distraction & Rising Vehicle Speed
There is also no question that there is an increase in the average driving speed of cars, which regularly leads to a number of accidents each year. The rise in availability of technology in vehicles is also a serious factor, as it leads a number of drivers to turn their attention away from the roads and instead on screens.
Paint-Only Bike Lanes
According to a new Atlanta study, paint-only bike lanes may be associated with an increase in crash rates between drivers and cyclists. In addition, protected bike lanes that give way to paint at intersections may be endangering riders as well. The study indicates that drivers may actually be crashing into cyclists in these strips even more often than they would if there was no paint present.
Whose Responsibility is it to Fix the Issue?
So what can be done to reduce or eliminate cyclist accidents? Experts would argue that road designs and safety measures are completely outdated and not in keeping with modern vehicles or drivers’ choices. With such a steep rise in the number of cyclists present on the roads, there needs to be reckoning with both city planners and drivers that they must change driving and design patterns in order to properly protect them.
If You’ve Been Harmed, Contact Our Macon, Georgia Bicycle Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, it is critical that you speak with a Macon bicycle accident attorney right away in order to find out what your options are for obtaining justice. The Law Offices of Buzzell, Welsh & Hill can help: Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out more.