Fatal bicycle accidents are up 16 percent nationwide, according to a recently released study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Whereas the number of cycling deaths in 2010 was 621, that number rose to 680 and 722 for 2011 and 2012 respectively. The growing number of bike accident deaths in recent years stands in contrast to the gradual lowering of such deaths between 1975 and 2010.
The rise in bicycle deaths may be attributed in part to the increase in bicyclists on the road, particularly those who use their bikes to commute, an increase that began in about 2000. Advocates encouraged bicycling as healthful exercise that could reduce congestion and pollution on the streets. However, the increase of cyclists had other dangerous consequences that they did not anticipate. During the same period deaths related to other vehicles rose only 1 percent.
The study also presented other statistics about who has typically been involved in such accidents and where they have occurred. For instance, 69 percent of bike fatalities occurred in cities in 2012, while only 50 percent occurred in urban areas in 1975. Bicycle deaths also claimed an older demographic, with 84 percent made up of adults 20 and older, compared with only 21 percent in the same age group in 1975. The differences likely relate to the growth of the bicycle for commuting as opposed to recreation. 88 percent of those killed in bicycle accidents in 2012 were male.
New Jersey bicycle accident lawyers represent victims
Families of those killed in bicycle accident fatalities may be unsure about whether legal action would be an appropriate option; indeed, circumstances vary in each case. However, if a cyclist has been killed as a result of another party’s negligent or reckless behavior, it is important for families to be aware that they have rights. NJ bike accident attorneys at Eisbrouch Marsh want you to understand that you may have more legal options than you think you do.
The recent study points out that nearly two-thirds of bicyclists involved in fatalities were not wearing helmets and that almost a third had elevated blood alcohol levels. Safety advocates need to work harder to get the message about appropriate gear and avoiding “drinking and riding” out to the public. However, even if your loved one did not wear a helmet while riding, that does not absolve the driver in question of responsibility if they were not obeying the rules of the road in such a way as to recklessly and fatally endanger the family member that you lost.
At Eisbrouch Marsh, we can help you to determine whether filing a NJ bike accident lawsuit is in your best interests.
Filing a New Jersey bike accident lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit might be a good option for your family for a number of reasons. In the wake of the accident and loss, your family may be left with substantial medical bills and end of life expenses that you were not prepared to pay. The lost loved one may also have been the breadwinner of the family or someone on whom you otherwise counted for financial support. A bicycle accident lawsuit in New Jersey can provide compensation for you in these cases.
Contact Eisbrouch Marsh at 201-342-5545 to set up a no-charge, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. We will provide important information to help your family take the next step.
- GHSA, Bicycle Safety http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/pdf/spotlights/bikes_2014.pdf
- Washington Post, Rise in U.S. bicycle fatalities concerns safety advocates http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/10/27/rise-in-u-s-bicycle-fatalities-concerns-safety-advocates/