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Distracted Driving and the Increased Risks of Bicycle Accidents

Summertime is here and outdoor activities are in full swing, including cycling. As more and more people trade in their cars for bicycles, it’s a good time to take a look at cycling safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while only 1% of all trips taken in the U.S. are by bicycle, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants of motor vehicles do. And with distracted driving on the upswing, these numbers will likely increase. The number of bicyclists killed by distracted drivers increased 30 percent, from 56 in 2005 to 73 in 2010, according to the journal Public Health Reports. That’s why we decided to include cycling in our blog series on distracted driving.

Here’s how the data breaks out:

  • Adolescents (15-24 years) and adults aged 45 years and older have the highest bicycle death rates.
  • Children (5-14 years), adolescents and young adults (15-24 years) have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries, accounting for almost 60% of all bicycle-related injuries seen in U.S. emergency departments
  • Males are much more likely to be killed or injured on bicycles than are females
  • Most bicyclist deaths occur in urban areas and at non-intersection locations

Cyclists can follow some tips to stay safer on the road:

  • Stay alert for distracted drivers
  • Ride with traffic, not against it
  • Obey all road signs and traffic lights
  • Watch out for unexpected car doors opening; ride a car door's width away from parked cars
  • Don't wear headphones
  • Wear a helmet to protect against head injuries
  • Wear fluorescent clothing
  • Learn the proper hand signals

Drivers can help by watching out for unexpected movement by cyclists, keeping a good distance away and always looking around before opening car doors. Above all else, they should avoid cell phone use and other forms of distracted driving. See The Rising Cost of Distracted Driving: Facts and Stats.

For more cyclist safety tips for both cyclists and drivers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, see NHTSA Safety in Numbers.

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating and costly effects of being injured in a cycling accident in Cleveland, especially those caused by a distracted driver. Through this blog series on distracted driving, we hope to provide essential information on distracted driving and driving safety.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a bicycle or car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to a bicycle accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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