The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just released comprehensive information on bicycle accidents for 2009, showing the number of fatal North Carolina bicycle accidents declined by 50 percent.
Our personal injury lawyers in Raleigh, Charlotte and elsewhere in the state understand the economic downturn has been responsible for much of the across-the-board reduction in traffic fatalities. But the significant reduction in bicycle accidents is particularly good news given the increasing popularity of riding for both recreation and fitness.
A total of 630 riders died in bicycle accidents in 2009 and another 51,000 were injured. That’s down significantly when compared to the 716 that died in 2008. North Carolina bicycle accidents killed 16 riders in 2009, compared to 32 in 2008.
South Carolina bicycle accidents claimed 11 lives, compared to 14 in 2008.
Nationwide, it’s the first time since 2003 that fewer than 700 riders have been killed. While many associate bicycle accidents with injuries to children, young people only account for about 1 in 6 bicycle accidents. The average age of cyclists killed has climbed to 41.
About 1 in 3 riders killed in accidents are ages 35 to 54 and most are men.
North Carolina cycling safety tips include:
-Use lights, reflectors and reflective tape when riding after dark.
-Wear brightly colored clothing.
-Motorists should yield to cyclists at intersections.
-Be especially mindful of cyclists when pulling out of a parking lot or driveway.
-Use caution when opening a car door or pulling out of a parking space.
-Allow at least three feet between your vehicle and a rider.
-Remember that riders have the same rights to the road as a driver of a passenger car.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact our personal injury lawyers in Charlotte, Asheville and Greensboro. Call Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.