On February 13, Wrangler News reported on an important issue that Arizona residents face as spring arrives. The issue is the safety of bike riders on the streets of Arizona. Biking is both a method of commuting and a recreational activity for many Arizona residents, but bike riders are at serious risk of getting injured or even killed if drivers don't know how to safely share the roads with them.
Our Phoenix, AZ personal injury attorneys believe that bike safety should be a top priority as the weather gets warmer and more people start taking the opportunity to ride their bikes. We believe every driver should take note of a recently study discussed in Wrangler News on bike safety issues in Arizona.
The Bicycle Safety Action Plan Study
According to Wrangler News, the Arizona Department of Transportation has completed a large Bicycle Safety Action Plan to take a closer look at bicycle accident trends. The study revealed that:
- Bicycle accidents can be avoided if drivers and bicycle riders know the rules of the road and exercise reasonable caution.
- More structural changes to Arizona's roads and more amenities for bicycle riders will improve safety for both drivers and bike riders by increasing awareness.
- More than 77 percent of bike riders indicated that safety concerns were causing them to ride their bikes less often than they liked.
- Wide road shoulders and a lack of bicycle lanes were two of the top safety concerns cited by bike riders.
- Most bicycle riders involved in an accident suffer injury or are killed in the crash.
- Most bicycle accidents did not involve intoxication for either the bicycle rider nor the driver.
- Most accidents in the Phoenix metro area that involved bikes took place at or near the intersections of freeway on/off ramps or freeway access roads.
- Almost 20 percent of bicycle accidents occurred when drivers failed to allow bicyclists the right-of-way. Sixteen percent of crashes happened when bike riders didn't yield the right-of-way to drivers.
Arizona statistics on bicycle accidents also reveal lots of room for improvement. For example:
- Between 2004 and 2008, almost 10,000 accidents occurred involving cars and bikes.
- Arizona was the 7th highest ranking state in bicycle fatalities per million residents in 2010.
- In 2010, 19 bicycle riders were killed in accidents with motor vehicles. This was a 28 percent decline in the number of bicycle rider deaths from 2009.
- 44 percent of bike riders in Arizona that were involved in an accident suffered an injury that was not debilitating.
- 11 percent of Arizona bike riders involved in an accident suffered a serious injury.
Most Bicycle Accidents Happen in Broad Daylight
Perhaps the most surprising news of the study, however, was that most of the crashes analyzed occurred not at night but in broad daylight in nice weather.
Unfortunately, this means that bike riders cannot assume that it is safe to ride their bicycles just because it is sunny and visibility is good. Both drivers and bike riders always need to exercise caution and be aware of how they can safely share the road in order to avoid accidents no matter what time of day it is.
If you've been injured in an accident, contact the Israel Law Group at (888) 900-3667 for a confidential consultation.