Injury Rate Highest in 25 Years
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a number of factors have contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of automobile-bicycle collisions in California and nationwide in the last five years. NHTSA reported that the three-year period from 2016 through 2018 saw the highest rates of traffic accidents involving cyclists since the mid-1990s, as well as a higher incidence of serious and catastrophic injuries.
Authorities say the rise in motor vehicle accidents involving bicyclists can be tied to four specifictrends:
- A significant increase in the number of miles Americans are putting on the roads;
- Increased popularity of cycling;
- The dramatic increase in distracted driving; and
- The popularity of SUVs and large trucks.
Americans Are Driving More
It’s no secret to why Americans dramatically increased their time behind the wheel during the years 2016-2018. In 2016, the average price for a gallon of gas was $2.14, the lowest since 2002. Studies have long shown a correlation between cheap gas and traffic accidents. As the price of gas goes down, driving becomes more affordable, and more people drive. The more they drive, the more accidents result.
There Are More Cyclists on the Roads
Studies show that more Americans are commuting to work by bicycle. Many cities have improved infrastructure to accommodate the greater number of cyclists, but many have not.
Americans Are More Distracted Behind the Wheel
As handheld devices have become almost universal, they also have become more of a distraction for drivers. NHTSA lists distracted driving as the number one cause of crashes.
Americans Are Driving Bigger Vehicles
The number of big trucks and SUVs on the roads is increasing. Those vehicles tend to have larger blind spots, making it more challenging to see a bicycle on the road.
Contact Our Offices
At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we have been successfully representing people hurt in motorcycle accidents for more than three decades. To arrange a free initial consultation, Send us an e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010