Commuter bicyclists are becoming more common across Missouri. With more bicycles on the road, bicycle accident injuries are on the rise. According to 2011 Missouri statistics, a bicycle injury or fatality occurred about every 15 hours.
One major issue contributing to the rise in bicycle accident injuries is that drivers don’t always know how to handle sharing the road with bicyclists. Rules of the right of way and bicycle lanes may be ignored, or simply unknown. An automobile driver’s failure to yield and inattention can have devastating consequences in an accident involving a bicyclist.
Nationally, hospitals have seen admission rates for bicycle injuries double from 1998 to 2013, with many patients ages 45 and up. Mortality rates for bicycle riders between the ages of 35 to 54 have tripled. Today, bicyclists in the older age groups are at a higher risk of injury and fatality than younger riders.
Because older bicyclists are at an increased risk of bicycle accident injuries, taking safety precautions is imperative. Bicyclists should:
- Wear helmets and reflective clothing
- Utilize lights when riding at night
- Practice defensive driving
Urban planners suggest that in addition to practicing bicycle safety, communities need to realize that bicyclists utilize roadways, and make proper accommodations such as lowering speed limits along cycling routes.
With bicycle injury and fatality numbers climbing, it is important to note one area where these numbers are dropping: child cyclist deaths. A study published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that between 1975 and 2012, the morbidity rate for bicyclists ages 15 and younger dropped 92 percent. Historically, death rates for child bicyclists have been drastically higher than any other age group.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident due to the fault of another driver, contact the attorneys Peterson & Associates, P.C.™ for a free case evaluation.