Nearly every day, bicyclists become injured or are killed in devastating bicycle accidents throughout the country. Yesterday, a 71-year-old bicyclist died after a 21-year-old woman driving a Nissan Altima turned right and crashed into him. He was thrown onto the pavement, hitting his head. While the investigation is ongoing, it appears that the woman failed to check before making a right-hand turn. The victim was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. The woman who hit the bicyclist did not suffer any injuries. This accident shows that riding a bicycle is still unsafe in the United States.
Hundreds of Bicyclists Die in Car Accidents Every Year
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 857 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2018. These deaths accounted for over 2% of all of the traffic fatalities in the country. Even though cities and states worldwide have tried to pass laws and increase regulation to protect bicyclists, cars continue to crash into bicyclists and cause their injuries or death.
Why is Bicycling So Dangerous?
Bicycling is particularly dangerous because many drivers are incredibly distracted and do not check for bicyclists when they make turns or engage in a lane change. Drivers are more distracted than ever with cell phones, text messaging, and the busyness of everyday life. Additionally, many cities were developed when most people did not bicycle, and they may have bicycle lanes that are too narrow, or they may have no bicycle lanes.
Bicyclists are most likely to be injured in car accidents because they do not have any external protection. Even bicyclists who are wearing helmets can suffer serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage. Many of the accidents that resulted in bicyclist fatalities could have been prevented if the bicyclist, the driver, or both had paid attention to the traffic rules that were in place and acted more cautiously.
Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you or your loved one became injured in a bicycling accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Most states allow those who suffer personal injuries because of another person’s negligence to hold them accountable in court for the damages they caused. You will need to show that the motor vehicle driver acted negligently or recklessly, causing the accident that resulted in your severe personal injuries.
When a bicyclist dies due to a negligent driver, his or her family has the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The family can recover funeral expenses, medical costs, compensation for their loved one’s inability to provide a living for their family, as well as damages for pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. The best thing you can do after a bicycle accident is to contact an experienced lawyer. Contact Pulvers Thompson today to schedule your initial consultation.