Bike Safety Back in the News after Recent Events
Bike safety has been an issue for years, but after a recent rash of biking incidents, the concern for the well-being of cyclists is once again generating attention. Despite decades of sharing the road with bikers, drivers still struggle to observe safety measures and be aware of those on two wheels.
Cyclists Take to the Road Aware of the Risks
So far this year, five bicyclists have been killed in the state of Delaware. This is already two more than the total killed in 2016 in the state. Most recently, 76 year old Thomas H. Draper was killed near Milford when the driver of a pickup truck struck him. The biker was airlifted to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma Center, but died 19 hours later from head injuries. According to police, Draper was wearing a helmet and reflective clothing.
Draper is one of numerous bicyclists injured on Delaware roads over the last five years. According to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, more than 150 vehicle crashes involving bikes have occurred since 2013.
Cycling continues to grow in popularity, not just as a sport but as an alternative method of transportation. This brings challenges to drivers, cyclists, and those concerned about safety. Sharing the road with drivers on two wheels requires drivers on four wheels to exercise greater care when turning. They also need to be cautious when their vehicles are not in motion. Every year dozens of bikers are injured by opening car doors that swing out into their path and knock them from their bikes.
States Ranked According to Bicyclist Safety
Despite the number of biking incidents in Delaware, it’s still considered by cyclists to be one of the safer areas compared to surrounding states. Many cycling enthusiasts come from Maryland and New Jersey to ride because they know it’s safer and more accepting of sharing the roads. Rules of the road in Delaware have created a system in which months might pass without any cyclists injured. The state has a three-foot safe passing law requiring motorists to keep a safe distance from bicyclists.
The natural conditions are also friendlier and more easily navigable in the state, with no major inclines, waterways, and other impediments. Delaware has even received a third-place ranking from the League of American Bicyclists who ranked most of the states in the Mid-Atlantic region fairly high. Washington and Minnesota ranked highest on the list, while Alabama, Kansas, and Kentucky were ranked lowest for the states’ approaches to bike legislation and enforcement of laws.
Bike Safety on the Road Has a Long Way to Go
Despite many positive improvements nationwide that make it easier to share the road, there are still hundreds of vehicle-bike accidents every year. And no matter who’s at fault, the cyclist is most likely to suffer far more than the driver of the vehicle involved. According to police in Delaware, more than 75 percent of vehicle-bike crashes result in injuries to bikers. Sadly, a significant number of these involve serious injuries and can be fatal.
At Heavens Law, we want to be sure cyclists are aware of their rights and know they deserve to be safe and treated with respect when sharing the road with four-wheel vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in a biking incident, you have a right to take legal action. For more information or to discuss an incident that affected you, contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377 to learn more.