More people are riding bicycles now versus a year ago, and bicycle riding has increased year over year. Accidents involving bicycles have increased too. This is likely because of a vehicular phenomenon where people are driving at faster speeds with less caution since there is less traffic on the road due to COVID-19. Furthermore, in general some areas in Houston are not suitable places to be bicycling due to unsafe road conditions.
According to the latest Traffic Facts Report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), road violence against cyclists has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, 34 cyclists died in Houston, more than double the number in 2019 when 15 bicycle deaths were registered. Also, according to this report, the increase in cyclist deaths last year was linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the suspension of activities in schools and work centers, as well as the decrease in traffic in the city.
Bicyclists have to share the road with other motor vehicles, such as cars and trucks, and this can sometimes lead to bicycle accidents. Bicyclists hit by turning vehicles is a repeating news story, which highlights the most serious deficiency in our system — driving education. Sometimes the driver passing a bicyclist prior to turning right causes these crashes, but in other cases the bicyclist passing the truck on the right may cause them.
The problem with Houston roads is that they are increasingly congested, and even with decreased vehicular traffic, bicycle lanes often interfere with the flow of traffic, putting the cyclist in danger, and in some cases, there is no such lane, so cyclists have to share the roads with other vehicles.
Most of these accidents are caused by drivers who simply do not see cyclists. Since bicycle riders do not have enough protection, their exposure to severe injuries increases tremendously.
Bicycle accidents statistics
In the United States, there are between 73 and 85 million cyclists, of whom 44 million are children.
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 50,000 people were injured in bicycle accidents and 745 people died in 2020.
There is a bicycle accident every ten minutes in the United States.
Bicycle accident statistics, in particular, are difficult to calculate or track and most experts believe that the statistics themselves are low due to the fact that only a fraction of bicycle crashes causing an injury are recorded by law enforcement.
Typically, as in states like Texas, only bicycle accidents involving a fatality are reported. Given the increase of bicyclists taking to the streets of large Texas cities, it can be assumed that more bicyclists are injured in an accident involving another vehicle, such as a car, or a truck.
There are several common causes of bicycle accidents in Houston. The four most common are:
-Driver error of the motor vehicle
-Defect or malfunction of the bicycle
There are many driving errors that can cause bicycle accidents. Because bicycles are much smaller than regular vehicles, drivers do not always see bicyclists and, therefore, can crash into them. This is especially true when bicyclists travel in a straight line and cars turn right onto another road.
There are also cases in which a bicycle can be defective and cause an accident. This can include brake failure, defective carbon frames or non-compliance with safety regulations, to name just a few. In these cases, it is possible that the bicycle manufacturer is at fault for the accident.
When a bicycle accident occurs due to one of these causes, and the bicyclist has suffered injuries as a result, it is imperative that the injured parties call lawyers for Houston bicycle accident cases.
In order to avoid becoming injured or killed while riding your bicycle, the Texas Department of Transportation reminds bicyclists and drivers to follow all the rules of the road, including proper signaling and stopping for lights. Bicyclists should always wear visible attire, in addition to a helmet, and drivers should make a greater effort to pay attention to bicyclists and make room on the road.
But even when wearing helmets, injuries sustained after a bicycle accident can be catastrophic. Without a large metal frame that surrounds them, and nothing between them and the ground if they fall, bicyclists have little protection. The most common injuries suffered due to bicycle accidents are:
-Trauma to the head, including traumatic brain injuries
-Injury to the back and spinal cord
-Broken bones, especially the legs, arms, ribs and pelvis
-Damage to internal organs
When it comes to insurance, Texas is a no-fault state. This means that if you are involved in an accident, and the party at fault doesn’t carry insurance, you must turn to your own insurance company to obtain personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to cover up the first $ 10,000 in health care costs. In the same instance, bicyclists that are victims of accidents can use their own PIP if they have a car policy. A local lawyer for personal injury cases can help a person identify the best course of action.
To claim compensation, the bicyclist must be able to demonstrate that:
-The driver, the local government or the manufacturer of the product owes a duty of care to the bicyclist.
-They failed to fulfill that duty of care, and
-The bicyclist was injured as a result of that violation
How to know if you need a bicycle accident lawyer?
Being involved in an accident while riding a bicycle can result in serious injuries, and the more serious they are, the higher the medical bills will be.
Also consider that as a result of bicycle accident injuries, your daily routine can be adversely affected especially if you live a healthy lifestyle.
If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of a bicycle accident, you need to be represented by one of the top bicycle accident lawyers in Houston.
Benefit of a Lawyer
When bicycle accidents happen, those involved should speak with the attorneys for Houston bicycle accident cases immediately. An experienced Houston personal injury lawyer can file a claim to help you maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled for.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident and wishes to receive compensation for the injuries sustained as a result, you should speak with a Houston bicycle accident lawyer who can help you immediately.
Contact PMR Law and our experienced accident lawyers will fight to get you fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Please contact us at 832-667-7700.
PMR Law is considered one of the Best Law Firms of America, by Rue Ratings. Several of our attorneys have been given the honor of being named Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has named our attorneys 10 Best in Client Satisfaction. Speaking of personal injury, Attorney and Practice Magazine awarded our attorneys with Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney distinctions. The National Trial Lawyers have named three of our attorneys as Top 100 attorneys. The Academy of Attorneys has named two of our attorneys as Top 40 Under 40. Our attorneys have been recognized as Best Attorneys of America, by Rue Ratings. PMR Law is a proud member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum.