Riding a bicycle offers countless benefits. Yet whether you ride your bike to improve your physical health, combat stress, reduce your carbon footprint, or save money on gas, you probably understand that cycling comes with certain risks. Bicyclists do not have the same degree of protection as occupants of passenger vehicles, so accidents have a higher potential to cause severe and even fatal injuries.
Yet even the most avid cyclist might not be aware of the full extent of the potential dangers. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has compiled a set of bicycle crash statistics that can help bicycle riders understand the current trends. Here are five troubling statistics you should know.
Crashes Have Killed Over 100 Cyclists over Five Years
Bicycle crashes in Georgia can often be fatal. In the five-year period between 2015 and 2019, bicycle crashes have resulted in an average of 24 bicyclist deaths each year. Because the average passenger vehicle weighs about two tons, the force of impact on a cyclist’s body is immense. Even at lower speeds, a crash between a bicyclist and a car can cause broken bones, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, and traumatic brain injuries.
Thirty-Eight Percent of Bicycle Accident Deaths Occur Within Five Urban Counties
Busy urban centers are particularly dangerous for cyclists. Higher traffic levels and more frequent road hazards may contribute to this trend. The counties in Georgia accounting for the highest numbers of bicycle accident fatalities are:
- Fulton – Eleven percent
- Chatham – Ten percent
- DeKalb – Eight percent
- Cobb – Five percent
- Gwinnett – Three percent
When cycling in urban centers in these counties or others, bicyclists should remain highly alert at all times. Intersections in urban areas are especially dangerous for cyclists, so additional caution is required at stop signs and traffic lights.
Fifteen- to Twenty-Year-Old Cyclists Suffer Serious Injuries at the Highest Rates
When compared to other age demographics, cyclists between the ages of 15 and 20 are especially vulnerable to suffering severe injuries or death. Reasons for this may include:
- Lack of experience or knowledge of traffic rules
- Peer pressure to cycle irresponsibly
- Alcohol or drug use
- Cycling at less conventional times
Young people who cycle should educate themselves about the dangers of sharing a road with other vehicles. If you are a parent to a teenager who cycles, take time to help them understand the importance of wearing protective gear, cycling defensively, and obeying all traffic laws while on their bike.
Three-Quarters of Fatal Bicycle Accidents Occur in the Dark
In a recent year, 76 percent of bicycle accidents occur during dark hours. Bicyclists are less visible, meaning other road users may veer into their path without registering their presence. Georgia law requires all cyclists to use front and back lights at night. You should also wear protective gear and ride in well-lit areas whenever possible.
Bicycle Accidents Cost Georgia Residents $17 Million Annually
The cost of emergency care and hospital visits for bicycle accidents in Georgia is significant. Furthermore, cyclists who suffer injuries in accidents often lose income due to missed time at work, in addition to physical and psychological pain.
Contact an Alpharetta Bicycle Accident Law Firm
If you have suffered injuries in a bicycle accident in Georgia, you may be eligible for significant compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other accident-related losses. An experienced Alpharetta bicycle accident lawyer from W. Winston Briggs Law Firm will fight for the full compensation you deserve. Contact our offices today at (404) 522-1500 for a free consultation to learn more about how our bicycle accident lawyers can help you.