According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approximately 743 bicyclists received fatal injuries after crashing with motor vehicles in 2013 in the United States. That is just under two deaths each day. In fact, an estimated 29 percent of bicycle injuries are caused by the cyclist being hit by a motor vehicle- accounting for approximately one third of the 50,000 incidents each year.
Fortunately, many cities throughout the United States could soon offer safer places for bicyclists to ride. Evidence from recent studies of major U.S. cities that have increased the number of bicycle paths shows a drastic reduction in the number of injury and fatality accidents that occur each year.
According to one study, which was performed by researchers at the University of British Columbia, streets with bike lanes had a 50 percent lower rate of injuries, and those with protected bike lanes had a 90 percent lower risk. Lake County personal injury attorney Bogdan Martinovich says that “The addition of low stress bike lanes is a move that will be good for bicyclists and motorists alike.” According to research, only about 50 percent of motorists feel comfortable driving on roads with no bike infrastructure, while a whopping 79 to 97 percent say they feel comfortable on roadways with protected bike lanes.
In addition to helping to reduce the number of motor vehicle related bicycle injuries and fatalities, an increased number of bike routes will likely result in:
- Lower transportation expenses
- Better physical health of commuters
- Easier access to safe places to ride
Currently, 43 percent of American adults live in areas that do not have bike routes or protected bike lanes. Where neither bike lanes or routes were available, an alarming 17 percent of bicyclists surveyed said that they felt threatened for their personal safety, and in 87 percent of those cases, the source of their unease was from sharing roadways with motorists.