According to recent statistics, the many residents of Phoenix and other Arizona communities who enjoy riding their bicycles either for fun or as an eco-friendly and healthy way to commute to work may be putting themselves at risk.
The numbers compiled by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, showed that there were 32 bicyclists killed in bicycle accidents in 2017, the most recent year for which final statistics were available. More recently, preliminary statistics showed that things may have grown worse for cyclists.
According to the NHTSA’s statistics for 2018, there were 857 cyclists killed in accidents that year, a 6.3% increase over 2017’s total. Overall, it was the deadliest year for cyclists in nearly 30 years.
Strikingly, the number of deaths for bicyclists and pedestrians in 2018 rose even as the numbers for other motor vehicle fatalities fell. Researchers credited the lower numbers to improved safety features inside cars, such as airbags and stability controls. These features mean that occupants of cars are better protected when they get into accidents.
However, these features don’t necessarily protect bicyclists, who are just as vulnerable as ever when they are struck by a motor vehicle. Any collision between a cyclist and a motor vehicle can easily lead to serious injury or death for the cyclist, even when the people inside the vehicle are unscratched.
When a cyclist is injured by a negligent driver, the injured may hold the driver liable for their damages. These damages can include medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. In the event of a fatal accident, the victim’s family may be able to hold a negligent driver liable for their damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. These legal actions can be important ways to hold careless drivers accountable, and to encourage other drivers to be more careful. They can also be crucial ways for the injured and their families to cope with the long aftermath of a terrible accident.