Safety advocates and riders continue to deal with the grim statistics surrounding Carolina bicycle accidents. The Post and Courier reports cycling advocates are trying to use the risks to push elected officials to seek improvements without alienating the growing body of riding enthusiasts, who typically are middle-aged men with money to spend.
As our Greenville personal injury lawyers reported on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, separate bike lanes would go a long way toward improving safety for cyclists. Such investment could also reduce congestion and encourage more women and teens to ride.
When it comes to fatal bicycle accidents, only seven other states ranked deadlier than the Carolinas did in 2009.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 16 riders were killed in North Carolina bicycle accidents in 2009; South Carolina bicycle accidents claimed 11 lives. The number of serious and fatal bicycle accidents has declined along with the number of overall traffic accidents nationwide — from 693 a decade ago, to 630 in 2009. However the percentage of fatalities involving bicycles has increased to about 2 percent of all traffic fatalities.
And advocates believe the number of injuries is drastically underreported as so many of those involved in bicycle accidents never report the incidents to police. Consultants in Greenville are not only talking to law enforcement, they are talking to hospital personnel to learn all they can about cycling wrecks.
Times are changing, but too slowly. Cyclists are beginning to get respect, but not enough. Riders say a reckless homicide charge filed against a 41-year-old Beech Island man is a start. He allegedly drive his SUV through a pack of cyclists, killing a local doctor.
He will face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident or bicycle accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.