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Understanding bicycle accident statistics and riding dangers

Many people in New Mexico choose to get around via bicycle. There are numerous reasons for this from getting exercise, saving money on fuel costs, and because it is economically friendly. While there are positives to bicycle riding, that does not diminish the potential dangers. A bicyclist is vulnerable to accidents that can lead to serious injury and even death. Many drivers do not pay as strict attention to a bicyclist as they should, and this lack of bike awareness can cause accidents. It is important for those who ride bicycles regularly to understand the statistics of a bike crash.

In the United States, people ride bicycles as a means of transportation one percent of the time. Even with that, a bicyclist is in greater danger of being injured or killed in an accident that people riding in motor vehicles. More than 900 bicyclists died and approximately 494,000 people went to emergency rooms when injured on a bicycle in 2013 alone. Statistics from 2010 show that the cost of bicycle accidents - fatal and not - was around $10 billion.

The highest risk of fatal injury in a bike crash are among people between the ages of 15 and 29 and 45 and older. When it comes to non-fatal injuries, the highest rates are from the ages of 5 to 24 at 52 percent. Men are more frequently killed or hurt in bicycle accidents than females. The majority of fatal bike accidents happen in an urban locale and in locations where there is not an intersection.

There are certain ways that bicycle riders can improve their safety such as following traffic laws, wearing a helmet, using clothing that is easily seen at all hours of the day, and having lights installed on the bicycle. While the safety tactics can help, it is still unavoidable that people will be hurt and killed in accidents when riding a bicycle. The families of those who have died in a bike crash and people who suffered serious injuries will have a great deal to be concerned with after it has happened including unexpected expenses, long-term care, the inability to work and more. Speaking to a legal professional about pursuing a claim after a bike accident can provide information as to what steps to take to be compensated.

Source: cdc.gov, "Bicycle Safety," accessed on Nov. 25, 2015

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