GHSA report shows bicycle accidents on the rise in the nation

Unlike our neighbors in states just to our west and north, South Carolinians can enjoy bike riding year round because of our mild temperatures and typically snowless winter months. Unfortunately, this also means that a rider is at risk of getting into a bicycle accident year round as well.

It’s because of this fact that the number of bicycle accidents that occur each year in our state is typically higher when compared to other states where residents cannot bike year round. But according to a report recently released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, these higher numbers could be a result of something else as well.

According to the report, the number of fatal bicycle accidents is on the rise across the nation as more people are choosing to commute via bicycle rather than a motor vehicle. Bicycles are especially popular in urban areas because getting from point A to point B is typically a shorter distance than in a rural area. But because urban areas are so densely populated and generally have a higher volume of traffic, the risk of getting into an accident rises.

After looking at data from 2010 to 2012, GHSA researchers concluded that not only are bicycle accidents on the rise in the country but men are more at risk of a crash than women. In 2012, men 20 years of age and older accounted for 74 percent of the bicyclists killed in crashes that year.

The report also noted that negligence has always been — and will continue to be — a predominant factor in many bicycle accidents. Everything from distracted driving to failing to yield right of way to drunk driving are reckless decisions that can easily land a bicyclist in the hospital with serious or fatal injuries. The hope is that both drivers and riders alike know that this type of decision can also lead to litigation as well and possibly even compensation for an accident victim too.

Source: The Governors Highway Safety Association, “Bicyclist Fatalities a Growing Problem for Key Groups,” Oct. 27, 2014