Car vs. bicycle accidents typically result in serious injuries for the cyclist, even at low speeds. A cyclist who is wearing a helmet has more protection than one without, but it’s also the only protection he or she has. The person in the car likely will not suffer any injuries, but the cyclist could be critically injured or even killed.
If this worries you, then you should also know that the roads have generally been getting more dangerous for cyclists in recent years. For instance, in a 2017 report, the U.S. Department of Transportation noted that 2016 saw 840 fatal cyclist accidents. That, the reports claimed, was the highest fatality total seen in more than two decades — since 1991. It was also a 1.3% increase from 2015.
The number of cycling fatalities has a lot of potential causes. Are more people riding bikes? Does the increase in the general population play a role? Are cities and states slow to pick up on bike-safety laws? Are cyclists failing to use safety gear? Looking at the raw numbers and the hundreds of deaths does not answer all of these questions, but it does show that people have a right to be worried if they cycle often and feel like they may get hit by a negligent driver. It’s a clear risk.
Maybe you have already been injured in one of these car accidents. Are you facing lost wages, high medical bills and all manner of related costs? If so, make sure you know exactly what legal options you have to seek financial compensation.