Given the Lone Star State’s vast land area and its abundance of busy freeways, bustling streets, and multi-lane highways, vehicle accidents across Texas are sadly quite prevalent. And if you were hurt in […]
In the United States, many people use bicycles for recreation, exercise, and transportation. Bicyclists must abide by the same traffic laws as motorists and other vehicles in most states since bicycles are regarded as vehicles. However, bikers are significantly more likely to suffer injuries or even die in traffic accidents since they are often less visible than traditional cars and drivers are often not paying attention.
In fact, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 720 people died nationwide in bicycle/motor vehicle collisions in 2012. What’s more, analysts projected that 49,000 cyclists were hurt.
Typically, only bicycle accidents resulting in fatalities are recorded nationwide, and the same is true for Texas. Given the rise in the number of bicycles on the streets of big Texas cities, it’s probable that cyclist deaths and injuries in the Lone Star State could continue to surge.
The majority of bicycle accidents, particularly those involving serious injuries and fatalities, involve another vehicle.
The NHTSA conducted a national survey on bicyclist and pedestrian attributes, and the results showed that 29% of cyclists were hurt when they were hit by a car, 17% were hurt when they fell, 13% attributed their injuries to defective sidewalks or roads, 7% were hurt when they collided or crashed with a stationary object, and 4% were hurt when a dog ran out in front of them.
According to the NHTSA, from 2008 through 2010, there were around seven bicycle fatalities annually in Harris County, Texas (in the greater Houston region), followed by 10 fatalities in 2013. Tragically, by 2015, nearly 15 cyclists had died in the greater Houston area.
Moreover, Texas saw a significant rise in bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in 2020, despite a decrease in the overall number of collisions. And per a recent news statement from the Texas Department of Transportation, the approximate 730 pedestrian fatalities throughout the state in 2020 constituted a 9% year-over-year rise, and the roughly 80 bicycle deaths a 21% increase.
It’s all too clear that cyclists aren’t as safe as drivers in the average passenger vehicle. Thankfully, there are several safety measures being conducted to stop the concerning trend of deadly bicycle accidents, both throughout the United States and in Texas.
First and foremost, the Texas Department of Transportation advises motorists and cyclists to obey all traffic laws, including correct signaling and stopping for lights, to prevent accidents and fatalities when bicycling.
Furthermore, the TxDOT is starting a bicycle safety campaign in Texas to address this issue, urging all Texans to “walk smart, bike smart, and drive smart.” Texas residents should anticipate seeing advertisements on television, billboards, petrol stations, buses, and social media.
So, what are the main causes of these bicycle accidents? Several distinct causes of bicycle accidents on public roadways exist, but the lion’s share is driver-related. Unsafe lane changes, making turns without checking blind spots for bicycles, following too closely to bicyclists or infringing on bike lanes and shoulders, and using mobile phones while driving are a few of the most frequent causes.
Unsurprisingly, distracted driving is a top contributor to bicycle accidents. Drivers are substantially more likely to cause these hazardous crashes when they are concentrating on their phones or playing with the radio rather than paying attention to the road and their surroundings.
Reading and replying to text messages, making phone calls, chatting on the phone, and using social media are all common distractions that contribute to serious bike accidents.
Passing within three feet of a bicycle or maintaining a close following distance are both exceedingly dangerous, yet these careless actions are another main contributor to bicycle wrecks.
These reckless motorists have a higher chance of hitting bicycles. Plus, because they aren’t giving bikers enough room to ride, cyclists are left with significantly fewer options for avoiding other crashes or roadway hazards.
Speeding reduces reaction time, or the amount of time that drivers have to make quick decisions or important safety judgments while driving, and lengthens the time it takes to stop. Even accidents at relatively moderate speeds (for instance, if a car is driving in a residential area) may be quite dangerous for cyclists, even though high-speed collisions are more likely to cause serious, life-threatening injuries.
Cyclists sharing the road are less likely to be seen by drivers who are speeding or weaving through traffic. Drivers that speed and weave often veer into bike lanes, shoulders, and lanes outside of traffic.
A single risky lane change, even when a driver is not weaving, can mean serious injury or death for a bicyclist on a roadside path. Drivers that make dangerous lane changes into cyclists’ lanes often do so without first checking to see whether the lane is clear, which frequently results in bicycle accidents.
As one would anticipate, victims involved in bicycle accidents may face significant financial hardship. These situations often result in lifelong medical bills and rehabilitation costs. Adding insult to injury, victims often are unable to return to their previous jobs (or cannot work in the same role). Why should a victim and their family bear the financial burden if another driver’s carelessness caused their injury?
Cyclists have the right to share the road with other motorists. However, not everyone has the same attitude about sharing the road with bicycles, and the victims are the ones to pay the price.
Thankfully, our Texas injury accident attorneys at the Rasansky Law Firm have more than three decades of experience helping people move on with their lives after being involved in accidents caused by negligent and reckless drivers. Our staff of qualified, reputable attorneys provides our clients with reliable legal advice.
We are available as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your accident and evaluate your legal options. For a free case review, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call our attorneys at 214-617-1816. Our bicycle accident lawyers in Dallas are here to help you and yours learn more about your legal rights at this stressful time.
2525 McKinnon Street #550 Dallas, Texas 75201
Phone: (214) 651-6100
Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.
Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.
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