Why Has There Been an Increase in Bike Crashes and Bike Deaths?

white bikeA recent NPR article highlights a trend that our office has been noticing: lately, we have seen a significant increase in the amount of phone calls for bike-related injuries.

The article, found here, cites an increase in bicyclists dying in collisions with cars. The number has risen dramatically over the past two years, while car deaths have remained stable. In the past few years in Austin, white-painted ghost bikes have appeared on bridges and sidewalks: these are memorials to cyclists killed on the road.

There are a few reasons why this is happening. More people are biking and new rideshare programs make it easier to incorporate a bike ride into your commute or travels. To compound the issue, many of these cyclists are not wearing helmets, have been drinking, or both.

How can we reverse this trend? As a cyclist, make sure to wear a helmet! This is the easiest but most easily dismissed way to keep your brain protected. Use bright front and back lights. Even if you think you are a cautious cyclist, there is no way to account for distracted or drunk drivers. As either a cyclist or a driver, do not drink. Bicycling under the influence can be just as dangerous as driving, but many people do not think of it on the same level.

As a driver, please give space and consideration to bikers. Austin is an increasingly bike-friendly city, and this is great. Biking is mentally and physically healthy and refreshing, and it can be a great way to add some exercise into your day. If we all, bikers and drivers alike, make a concerted effort to stay safe, we can turn the increase in biking into a positive trend.

If you do find yourself in a serious bike crash, please call our personal injury lawyers. We will help you collect the financial compensation you need and deserve.