Every year, many people are injured in bicycle accidents at the hands of their own negligence and the negligence caused by others sharing the roadways. These accidents can sometimes result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Cyclists and drivers alike are expected to obey traffic laws as well as the duty to exercise ordinary care in regards to one’s own safety and that of others on the roadways. Two questions one must ask are: Did negligence on the part of the driver cause the accident and resulting injuries to the bicyclist? And did any negligence of the bicyclist cause or contribute to the accident? When negligence is discovered, one can understand where to turn next.
Pedalcyclists are defined as those who are bicyclists and other cyclists. In 2013, there were 743 pedalcyclists killed and it was estimated that there were 48,000 injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Deaths associated with them accounted for 2% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities. The number of pedalcyclists killed in 2013 is 1% higher than the 734 killed in 2012.
Sometimes, the death rates are based off of environmental characteristics. These things are based off of land usage, location, and the time of day. The majority of fatalities (68%) occurred in urban areas as opposed to rural areas at 32%. 56% of these accidents occurred from 3 pm to 11:59 pm, and the fewest percentage of fatalities occurred from midnight to 5:59 am.
Age is a contributing factor as well. For instance, in 2013, the average age of pedalcyclists killed in traffic crashes was 44. During the decade from 2004 to 2013, there was a steady increase in the age of those who were killed and injured. People who were aged 55 to 59 years old had the highest fatality rate based on the population, but the highest injury rate was in the 20-to-24 age group.
The third known factor was gender. For instance, the majority of pedalcyclists killed or injured in 2013 were males – the highest number of male fatalities being between 55 and 59 years old. In 2013, the number of those killed in accidents was almost 7 times higher for males than for females.
Alcohol involvement is the last factor, with almost one-fourth (24%) of pedalcyclists killed in 2013 having BACs of .01 or higher. Alcohol involvement was reported in 34% of the traffic crashes that resulted in fatalities, either for the motor vehicle driver or pedalcyclist. In 29% of crashes, either the driver or pedalcyclist was reported to have a BAC of .08 or higher.
So where were fatalities most prevalent by state? In 2013, pedalcyclist fatalities were highest in California with 141, Florida with 133, and Texas with 48. However, there were no pedalcyclist fatalities in certain stated like Vermont, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and West Virginia.
Driver and Rider Negligence
In pedalcyclist accidents, either a pedalcyclist or a driver will be at fault. Negligence by a driver can take many forms, like speeding, running stop signs, or drifting into a bike lane. Plaintiffs will have to prove that the defendant acted in a way that violated a duty owed to them. In an accident caused by a cyclist, examples of negligence could include riding the wrong way on a one-way street, running a stop sign, or turning abruptly into traffic.
If you want to find out where you stand in your case, you may want to speak to an attorney that you trust. Call MDL today for a free consultation and case review. They will work with you to meet your needs of all things law in New Jersey.