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Cycling Deaths: Safety in Numbers

Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

Illinois personal injury attorney, Illinois bike accident lawyer, lake County bike accident attorney,It may come as no surprise that the more people there are out riding bicycles, the more bicycle fatalities occur. According to Forbes, the number of cycling deaths increased from 621in 2010 to 722 in 2012, most likely as a result of more people commuting to work by bicycle. Yet despite this seemingly fated statistic for cycling advocates, a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found that when a country has more people cycling, there tend to be fewer cycling deaths.

The simple fact for this is likely that an increase of cyclists means an increase in motorist awareness. In Holland and Denmark, two of the most cycling-friendly countries in the world, the number of people on bikes killed per 621 million miles ridden is only 10.7 and 14.6 respectively. The disparity between these numbers and those in the United States can probably be traced to the simple fact that these countries have been “cyclist-friendly” for many years—motorists have developed awareness over generations, rather than the decade in which cycling has been surging in popularity in the States.

While waiting for American motorists to achieve awareness of cyclists and adhere to cycling safety protocols, there are several things a cyclist can do to help avoid a nasty accident. According to BicycleSafe.com, wearing a helmet is NOT the end-all, be-all to bicycle safety. The most common type of bicycle accident is the “right cross,” when a car is pulling out of a driveway, street, or parking lot on your right. To help avoid this type of crash, make eye contact with the driver and wave, or stay to the left.

Another common type of accident is being “doored,” when a driver opens his car door into your path. (This is the number one type of crash in Santa Barbara, the second-most common in Toronto.) If you are riding on a street where this is a great risk, ride further to the left. In all instances, having a headlight on your bicycle is crucial—it is required by law anyway. A bell or horn on your bike to warn motorists of your approach is also helpful.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident in which you were not at fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Lake County accident attorney today.

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