When people think of traffic accidents, they picture cars and trucks crashing. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are another common part of the equation. Many people opt to ride a bike instead of driving a motor vehicle these days, because it allows them to get exercise, is far less expensive, and does not pollute the air. However, riding at night, riding under the influence of alcohol, riding in heavy traffic, and riding when you are not experienced can lead to injury or even death:
1. In 2012, 732 bicyclists lost their lives due to bicycle accidents. That is up from 682 fatalities in 2011.
2. That number is relatively small compared to the over 49,000 people who were seriously injured during bicycle accidents in 2012.
3. The number of injuries due to bicycle accident has been on the rise over the last decade or two. Since 2001, there has been an 8.9 percent increase in injuries.
4. As of 2012, the average cost per bicycle injury was around $58,700 per person.
5. The average cost per bicycle fatality in 2012 was over $4.5 million.
6. The combined costs of all bicycle fatalities in 2012 was well over $3.2 billion, while the combined costs of all bicycle injuries the same year was over $2.8 billion, according to the National Safety Council.
7. These costs include medical expenses, wages and productivity losses due to the injured person being out of work, damage to motor vehicles involved in the accidents, and administrative expenses.
8. Over 540,000 bicyclists go to the emergency room each year, and 27,000 of them end up hospitalized overnight.
9. Common injuries that occur during bicycle accidents include road rash, spinal cord and head trauma, broken bones, and sprains.
10. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include motor vehicles turning into bicyclists who are crossing the street, motor vehicles driving in the bicycle lane, and motor vehicle drivers opening their doors and hitting oncoming bicyclists.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, contact Ashenden & Associates at 770-394-8909 for a free consultation.