During these summer months, Ohioans and Kentuckians are leaving their cars and trucks behind for their commute and jumping on their bicycles. Sadly, that also translates into a greater risk of injury, and even death, in an accident with a motor vehicle.
Nationwide, more people are cycling to work than ever before, with the country seeing a 64 percent increase in the number of bicycle commuters from 2000 to 2012. That probably helps explain why more than 725 cyclists died in accidents across the country in 2014.
Ohio’s all too familiar with the dangers of cycling. In fact, based on the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – and as published on by 24/7 Wall Street – Columbus, Ohio, ranks as the sixth most dangerous city in the nation for cyclists.
If you have been in an accident that has left you seriously injured, do not hesitate to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible.
Ohio and Kentucky Accident Trends
In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, Ohio recorded nearly 306,000 motor vehicle accidents, which resulted in 77,514 injuries and 1,054 fatalities. And while less than 1 percent of those accidents involved cyclists, that still translated into nearly 1,300 injury accidents involving bicycle riders.
In Kentucky, the roads have been even more dangerous. In 2016, the number of fatal auto accidents jumped 17.7 percent over the previous four years, according to data collected by the Kentucky Transportation Center, while injury accidents increased nearly 7 percent. Cyclists were involved in 1.25 percent of these injury accidents.
Cyclist Risk Factors
Looking at the national data on bicycle accidents, some trends start to emerge:
- Bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. – 20 percent of them.
- Urban areas were the deadliest, accounting for 71 percent of accidents.
- Men were far more likely to be killed, accounting for 88 percent of fatalities.
- The most at risk demographic is men between 20 and 24 years old.
The NHTSA offers several suggestions for cyclists, such as:
- Ride a bike that fits — if it’s too big, it’s harder to control.
- Ride a bike that works — it doesn’t matter how experienced the rider is if the brakes don’t work.
- Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others, such as a bike helmet, bright clothing and/or reflective gear.
- Ride one per seat, with both hands on the handlebars, unless signaling a turn.
- Carry all items in a backpack or strapped to the back of the bike.
- Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain.
- Plan your route.