In 2018, 857 cyclists died in motor vehicle accidents, according to a recent report. This statistic prompted the National Transportation Safety board to analyze bicycle safety.
The NTSB found several reasons cyclists die in motor vehicle accidents.
Reasons cyclists die in accidents
Larger vehicles on the roads play a role in the increase in cyclist deaths. In particular, the uptick in purchases of SUVs and large pickup trucks has led to an overall increase in the average size of vehicles on the road. The greater force generated by these heavier vehicles contributes to more deaths in collisions with bicycles.
Another major contributor is smartphone use while driving. The average driver spends 3.5 minutes per hour on a smartphone while driving and 60% of drivers admitted to texting while driving in a recent survey. Distracted driving can increase the chances of a collision by four to 24 times.
Another factor is the increase in drive time. The number of miles driven by motorists increased 35% in 2019. More driving means more congestion, which leads to more crashes. In addition to the increase in vehicles on the roads, there are also more cyclists on the roads. Bicycle commuting increased an average of 77% in 10 of the largest U.S. cities.
How to stay safe when cycling
Wear a helmet, avoid distractions and obey traffic laws when cycling. Utilize bike lanes when possible.
While you should always take safety precautions to reduce your risk, drivers are still responsible for their own negligent driving. If you suffer an injury because of the negligence of a driver, you may be able to recover damages.