If you live in or near Atlanta, you know how bad traffic can be – especially now with the I-85 bridge collapse. Therefore, if you’re able to use another form of transportation to get around or commute to work – you may find it is easier and less stressful. For many people who live near their offices, they have the ability and luxury to use their bicycle instead of spending hours in bumper to bumper traffic. If you are one of the lucky ones, we commend you for taking the path “less stressful.”
The environmentally friendly choice seems like a no-brainer (if you are able)—but is it safer? Is it worth it? You decide for yourself…….
Is Cycling Safe?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 818 people died in bicycle vs. motor vehicle accidents in 2015. This was a 6% increase in bicycle fatalities since 2006 and a 12.2% increase since 2012. However, while the number of deaths has increased in recent years, the number of injuries has decreased. Injuries dropped from 50,000 in 2014 to 45,000 in 2015. Although this may be fantastic news to the peddler, research shows that only a fraction (10%) of bike crashes are reported to police!
So the question remains, is cycling a better, safer way to travel? The answer still remains up in the air – depending upon who you ask. For those who need a more detailed breakdown – the NHTSA provided the following statistics about those who are injured or killed in bike accidents:
- The average age of bicyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles continues to increase, climbing to 45 years old in 2014, up from 39 in 2004, 32 in 1998, and 24 in 1988.
- 88% of those killed were male.
- 71% of bicyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas.
- 20% of bicyclist fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m.
- 19% of bicyclists killed had blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 g/dL or higher.
- In 35% of the crashes, either the driver or the bicyclist had blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 g/dL or higher.
- California (128), Florida (139), and Texas (50) lead the nation in the number of bicyclist fatalities.
- Just two states, Rhode Island and Vermont, reported no fatalities in 2014.
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As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why riders are being injured or killed while peddling down the street. Although these deaths only account for two% of all traffic fatalities, it still makes us question whether we should ride or drive. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident and need legal assistance, please contact our office immediately. Whichever form of transportation you use, just be cautious and safe while making your daily commute.
For more information on this article, contact Kaine Law in Atlanta.