Risks Faced by Bicycle Riders due to Uncaring and Irresponsible Motor Vehicle Drivers

More American now choose to leave their car in the driveway and cover the pavement instead on their bicycle, whether to go to work or to run an errand. This choice is not healthy and environment friendly, but can also be faster and much cheaper. Despite these and the many other benefits of riding a bicycle, however, one must not forget of the dangers that a bicyclist can be exposed to, such as pollution (especially if you ride on very busy roads) and the many kinds of road hazards, like defective roads and, most especially, uncaring motorists, who do not see you or those who think you should not be sharing the road with them.

In 2013, there were 900 bicyclists who died in traffic accidents, while an estimated 494,000 were rushed to emergency department after collision with another motor vehicle. In 2014, the number of fatal bicycle accidents went down to 720, 20% lower compared to the previous year, thanks to the educational Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety programs introduced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Separate studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveal the following facts:

  • Adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 29 and adults 45 years and older are the most common victims in fatal bicycle accidents.
  • Children aged between 5 and 14 and those between 15 and 24 years old have the highest rates of non-fatal bicycle-related injuries.
  • The top two cities where the highest number of male cyclists get killed every year (in accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles) are California and Florida. Add Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas and all six cities account for 54% of all cycling fatalities from 2010 to 2012 which total to 2,023.
  • The two major contributing factors to bicyclist deaths are failure to wear a helmet and alcohol-impairment.

Many states implement the bicycle helmet law for children and adults due to the added safety that a helmet can provide, which is reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in the event of a crash. Despite wearing a helmet or being extra careful, however, some motor vehicle drivers are not just too concerned for the safety of bicycle riders, thus, not bothering to check for the possible presence of one when they are driving.

According to the law firm Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., “Because bicycles offer little to no protection, bicycle riders are often seriously injured when collisions occur with other vehicles. Unfortunately, vehicle operators do not always drive safely around bicyclists, and accidents are not uncommon. Some of the dangers of bicycle accidents include: broken bones, head and neck injuries, heavy bruising, skin infections, spinal injuries, or death

The medical costs and recovery time associated with these injuries can be significant. Fortunately, however, you do not have to face this situation alone. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be able to seek financial compensation from the liable parties with the help of a personal injury attorney.”

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Reckless driving is one of the major causes of car accidents in the United States. Unlike mechanical failures, reckless driving seem to be intentional. It is as if Americans are willingly putting themselves into danger because they believe they are immune to car crashes. We all know that they are not, especially because traffic accidents are well-documented in day to day news.


The most common form of reckless driving is speeding. A faster vehicle is harder to control, not to mention that the fastness itself can make the impact worse. You can’t easily avoid the impact because a speeding vehicle takes longer to stop. Though swerving can prevent a collision, you can still hit another object in your new trajectory.

Excessive speed can also cause the driver to lose control during a turn, sending it spinning on the road or rolling over the embankment. Rollover accidents can be very fatal. Drivers end up trapped in the vehicles or ejected.

Sometimes, speeding is not just about going over the speeding limit. The road conditions are also to be considered. If the road is wet because of rain, drivers should be extra careful.

Improper lane changing

If a driver fails to signal before changing lanes, he is giving others around him very little time to react. This could potentially cause an accident. At its worst, it can be a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles. Not because a driver signals that he is about to change lane he already has the right to do so. There are instances where unsafe lane changes have caused accidents as well.

Improper passing

Reckless drivers also have the tendency to pass other vehicles in an unsafe manner. This is a similar idea to improper lane changing. Reckless drivers are giving the motorists around them a few seconds to react, and a mistake in those seconds is enough to cause an accident.

The worst cases of improper passing involve vehicles that veer into the opposite direction just to pass the vehicle in front of them, resulting into a head-on collision with oncoming vehicles.

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, reckless drivers can be held liable for their actions. That is perhaps the only good news we can hear about reckless driving, because it’s always about injury, death, destroyed properties, inaccessible roads due to debris, and stalled traffic. It is mind-boggling why Americans continue to drive recklessly when the consequences are clearly devastating.

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