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Distracted Pedestrian & Bicyclist Deaths on the Rise

June 27, 2018 Hastings and Hastings

According to information provided by the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were approximately 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in 2017. This represented an amount that was 11 percent higher than 2016 and 22 percent higher than in 2015.  Every year, approximately two percent of all deaths related to motor vehicle accidents are a bicyclist. In many bicyclist deaths, the injuries that result in the accident being fatal are to the head. This drives home the importance of always wearing a helmet.

In 2015, there were a total of 817 bicyclists killed in accidents with a motor vehicle. This is a 13 percent increase from the previous year and represents the highest number of bicyclists killed since all the way back in 1995. The total number of pedestrian deaths have risen by 10 percent between the years of 2015 and 2016. Each of these are higher than any other category of fatalities related to traffic accidents, according to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This trend has been debated quite a bit as far as the cause goes; however, there have been efforts made to help reduce cases of distraction that have led to these high number of bicyclists deaths.  There has been an increase of 60 percent in commuter biking in the past 10 years in the U.S. Unfortunately, with this increase, comes increased risk, too. The deaths that occur among bicyclists over the age of 20 have gone up more than three times.

To ensure someone can be safe, bicyclists are encouraged to follow certain rules. These rules include:

  • Stay aware of all traffic laws
  • Know the capabilities of the bike
  • Ride in the direction of traffic in a single-file line
  • Use hand signals when trying to turn
  • Never hitch onto another vehicle
  • Prior to entering traffic look over both shoulders
  • Ensure the bike is equipped with reflectors
  • Use mirrors

If a person is injured in a pedestrian or cyclist crash, then it is important to remember there are legal resources available to help.