The high cost of gasoline and a desire for a healthier lifestyle are driving (no pun intended) many to seek out alternative ways to get to their destination. One of the more popular methods has become bicycling, particularly in urban and suburban areas.
Unfortunately, as more cyclists are hitting the road, we’re also seeing an increase in cyclists getting hit by cars and trucks – and maybe not getting up. Bicyclist deaths jumped 8.7 percent in 2011, despite the fact that traffic fatalities overall dropped their lowest since 1949.
One of the greatest challenges cyclists face is that not all roads are bicycle-friendly, causing tension between motorists and bicyclists as they have to fight for road space. Also, bicyclists aren’t required to follow traffic signals the same way cars do, so drivers sometimes fail to see a cyclist or predict when they’re going to turn. And many drivers are not familiar with bicycle hand signals and behaviors. All of these factors are combined can create dangerous conditions for drivers and cyclists.
The Minneapolis solution
Some cities, like Minneapolis, are taking the lead in redeveloping roads to make them “bike-friendly” but this trend hasn’t quite caught on nationwide. Minneapolis recently reported that, from 2007-2012, the number of bicyclists on their roads has increased by 56% and their fatality numbers have dropped.
Hurt on a bike?
Bikers are likely to be severely hurt during an accident, since they are traveling with little protection. If you have been the victim in a bicycling accident, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and costly medical bills.