Streets and roads built during the past several decades in many American cities may not accommodate the increase in cyclists. Urban officials could, however, take steps to improve local infrastructure and educate motorists about bicyclists, as reported by NPR.org.
Modernizing streets for safer cycling may require installing concrete barriers and passing new traffic laws. Although many cities have bike lanes, existing laws often provide less than adequate protection for the cyclists using them. Improvements could include raising motorists’ awareness of how bicycles may share roads safely with vehicles.
Statistics show an increase in cyclist deaths and injuries
The National Safety Council in 2020 revealed a 16% increase in the number of bicyclists’ fatal injuries compared to 2019. Within the last 10 years, fatal accidents involving bicycles increased by 44%. Congested roadways and poorly lit streets contribute to the number of crashes involving cyclists and the motorists unable to see them.
Bike lanes do not reliably stop drivers from speeding and striking cyclists. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 64% of bicycle fatalities occur at locations other than intersections. Less than 30% of fatalities occur when cyclists cross intersections.
Potholes contribute to bicycle accidents
Lacking proper maintenance, many city streets deteriorate. As reported by ABC7.com, Los Angeles has received at least 1,600 reports of potholes. Bicyclists may find themselves forced into a pothole and injured when they need to swerve to avoid vehicles.
When injuries result from hazardous street cracks and unfilled potholes, bicyclists may file claims to recover. Photographs of the road hazard could serve as evidence. As described on StreetsBlog.org, photographs could include a ruler to demonstrate the depth of a dangerous hole. The courts may award damages that include pain and suffering when shown a motorist or poor road maintenance caused the accident.