Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Washington State

Common causes of bicycle accidents

Is bicycling dangerous? In addition to the obvious health benefits, there are a number of risks associated with riding a bicycle. On average, 700 deaths from bicycle accidents happen every year in Washington State due to cycling. We are known as being a ‘green’ or eco-friendly state, and as we work towards increasing the number of bicyclists we need to focus on improving safety as well.

The reality is, bicyclists put their own lives at risk by riding our city roadways. Causes of crashes vary according to local conditions and vehicle traffic volume. The frequency of cyclist causalities have risen in recent years as the amount of cycling has increased, which is an expected result with a growth in ridership.

Below are some helpful statistics regarding bicycle accidents in the United States. Keep in mind that these statistics are made available by the U.S. government and are often at least one year backdated.

  • The average time of day that bicycle fatalities occur is between 4-8pm
  • The second highest time occurs between the hours of 8pm-midnight
  • There was a 9 percent increase in the number of bicyclists killed in 2011 compared with 2010 (last full year data was available)
  • The average age of bicyclists who are killed in collisions is 43
  • The majority (85%) of bicyclists being involved in a collision are male
  • More than one fourth of bicyclists collisions in 2011 involved a bicyclist under the influence of alcohol
  • About 40% of bicyclists die while riding at night
  • 57% of bicycle collisions in Washington occur on major, high-traffic roadways
  • Three out of five collisions the drivers are fault are never cited
  • About 45 thousand cyclists are injured every year when this number could be higher with the case that people don’t report their incidents
  • About 700 fatal bicycle accidents happen each year in Washington state, making up two percent of the total traffic-related deaths each year

Data on Injuries from Bicycle Accidents

  • Around three quarters of cyclists are killed due to major head injuries
  • 80% of cyclist casualties are male
  • 80% occur in daylight
  • 75% occur at or near a road junction
  • 75% of fatal or serious cyclist collisions occur in urban areas

Common Reasons for Bicycle Accidents

  • A child cyclist playing or riding too fast
  • Cyclist turning right into a major road way
  • Cyclist going straight through an intersection
  • Cyclist merging into a motor vehicle lane
  • Motorist merging into the path of a cyclist

If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycling accident, it is important for you to understand your legal rights as well as the critical steps that need to be taken in order to pursue a personal injury claim. It's typically helpful to consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience handling bicycle accident cases.

NEXT UP: Whose Fault Is a Bike Accident Anyway?

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.
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