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Adult fatal bicycle accidents increasing
Back in the 1970s, images of bicycles were often associated with young children at play in their neighborhoods. But as times have changed, the bicycle has moved from the hands of children in their neighborhoods to adults in big cities, and the corresponding rise in bicycle fatalities follows that trend. In 1975, 638 males under the age of 20 died from bicycle accidents versus only 180 over the age of 20. By 2015, the numbers had shifted to 80 males under the age of 20 dying in bicycle accidents versus 612 males over the age of 20. It has become obvious that riding a bike is no longer a child’s game.
There are plenty of other interesting facts to look at that would indicate that there has been a quantum shift away from children being injured on bicycles and towards more adults being injured. In 2015, twice as many bicycle accidents occurred in the United States between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. that did from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. The late afternoon is traditionally the drive home from work time for adults, while mid to late morning is play time for children.
Another interesting fact about bicycle accidents in 2015 is that 70 percent of all bicycle fatalities occurred in urban settings. These days, the streets of cities are filled with adults riding bicycles for exercise, or using bicycles to commute to work. As the streets fill with more adults riding bicycles, the number of bicycle deaths that occur in cities continues to rise.
Since there is an increase in the number of bicycle deaths in urban settings, it would be tempting to say that bicyclists are getting caught in intersections and run over by vehicles. But the data shows that 65 percent of all bicycle deaths that occurred in 2015 were not in intersections, which says that there are a lot of bicyclists finding problems negotiating the streets and sidewalks of America’s cities.
There are some other interesting facts to look at when it comes to the rise of bicycle deaths in the United States including:
- July tends to be the month when most bicycle deaths occur with March being the month with the least deaths.
- Since 1982, the percentage of bicyclists over the age of 16 who were killed while riding a bike with a blood-alcohol level at or above .08 percent has consistently hovered at 25 percent.
- The trend from 2010 to 2015 shows that more bicyclists are being killed while wearing helmets, while the number of bicyclists being killed not wearing a helmet has remained essentially the same.
- In 2015, 54 percent of all bicyclist deaths occurred on major roads, while only 29 percent occurred in neighborhoods. This emphasizes the shift from bicycling accidents occurring more in the cities than the suburbs or rural areas.
With the increased number of bicycle accidents occurring, some attorneys have even shifted gears and began focusing exclusively on bicycle accidents, such as Bay Area Bicycle Law, who assists injured bicycle accident victims in Northern California.
Fatal bicycle accidents expected to continue to rise
As more adults use bicycles for exercise and legitimate transportation in the cities, we can expect the number of bicycle fatalities to increase. One of the more disturbing facts is that sometimes the police will report an accident as a pedestrian incident and not a bicycle accident because bicycles do not get towed away from accident sites. If a tow truck does not have to be called, then the police will sometimes call that incident a pedestrian accident. This means that there are probably more bicycle deaths occurring on a daily basis in the United States, and we may never know the real numbers.