Transportation trends continue to change as Americans become increasingly concerned about their own health and the health of the environment. Our roads, long considered solely the territory of cars, are transporting a larger number of bicyclists and pedestrians. And kids aren't the only ones traveling this way. Adult bike ridership continues to climb as a form of exercise and as a way to commute to and from work.
These trends are largely positive, but they include at least one serious drawback: injurious and fatal accidents. A recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals that cyclist fatality rates are climbing steadily. In 2015 alone, bike deaths rose by 12.2 percent, outpacing the overall rise in traffic fatalities that year.
Whenever bicyclists and motor vehicles collide, there is little doubt that bicyclists are going to experience worse consequences. In fact, these encounters are so imbalanced that it is somewhat common for drivers to continue on their way after fatally striking a bicyclist.
A recent Washington Post report chronicled six bicyclist deaths that occurred in a single weekend in late August -- and the list was not a comprehensive one. In at least half of the accidents, drivers kept driving after the collision. In all six cases, the bicyclists killed were adults.
Sadly, bicyclist accidents follow the same trends we see with accidents between two or more cars. Often, these preventable accidents are caused by distracted driving, alcohol consumption and simple carelessness.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries (or worse) as the result of a negligent driver, it doesn't matter if you were on a bike, on foot or in another vehicle at the time. You have the right to seek compensation and justice in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. To better understand your legal options, please contact an experienced attorney right away.