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Research indicates increase in bicycle-auto accidents

There are a growing number of people in Staten Island who are using their bicycles to get around, rather than a motor vehicle. While this a good way to save money, stay in shape and benefit the environment, it can also be dangerous.

Research, sponsored by State Farm and a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), shows that the latest statistics from 2015 indicate that bicycle fatalities across the nation rose by 12.2 percent. The total for that year was 818, a rise of 92 from 2014. This is the most bicycle deaths in 22 years.

From 2011 to 2015, the average number of bicycle fatalities increased by 55. Although, this is a minor percentage of overall fatalities on the road, it is still problematic. In the past, most bicycle fatalities occurred with children under age 20.

In 2015, however, the average age for fatal bicycle accidents was 45. Eighty-five percent of those were males. Seven-hundred and twenty deaths involved people over age 20. Ninety-one were under age 20. This is a stark contrast from 1975, when there were 786 deaths of bicyclists under age 20 and 212 of those older than 20.

The researchers state that many of these bicycle-auto accidents involved drivers who did not see the bicyclist and the rider was expecting the vehicle to yield, resulting in a crash. It must be noted that more people are using bicycles to get around, and this could play a role in the number of bicycle accidents. GSHA says that 34 percent of Americans, age three and above, rode a bicycle at some point in the previous year.

No matter how the numbers are assessed and parsed, there is no debating how a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle can cause catastrophic injuries and death. Since bicycle riders have limited protection, being hit can lead to a long hospital stay, broken bones, the need to have medical procedures and care and long-term issues.

If there is a death, those left behind will be forced to confront a variety of financial and personal concerns. Compensation through a legal filing is often the only method to deal with the aftermath. When there are motor vehicle accidents with a bicycle, it is imperative to have a full investigation and help in pursuing a legal case with a qualified attorney.

Source: bicycling.com, "Cycling Deaths Are Rising Faster Than Driving or Walking Deaths, New Study Suggests," Andrew Dawson, Aug. 24, 2017

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
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