Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

Could Better Crash-Scene Data Improve Bicycle Safety?

California leads the nation in cycling traffic deaths, according to the latest statistics. Across the country, bicyclist deaths increased by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012. By comparison, motor vehicle fatalities only increased one percent during the same time period.

As traffic safety regulators seek new ways to improve bike safety, a new study suggests that the way bicycle accidents are investigated could be hampering their efforts. While bike crashes can result in serious injuries and even death, they do not receive the same attention as motor vehicle accidents. In most cases, police officers only collect two pieces of information — whether a cyclist was involved and whether he or she was wearing a helmet.

By comparison, much more information is collected when two vehicles are involved in a crash, such as the positions of the vehicles, the direction of impact, and the conditions under which the collision occurred. As detailed by the Boston Globe, the data collected has ultimately resulted in numerous safety improvements to motor vehicles, ranging from smaller rear windows to taller headrests.

The authors of the study, which was recently published in the journal Injury Prevention, argue that police crash templates should include additional bicycle-crash-scene codes, which could be collated and later used for improving bicycle safety. The researchers suggest that information regarding the location of the impact; whether an opened car door was involved; whether the cyclist was in a bike lane at the time the crash took place; and what type of injury occurred could be used to track why accidents occur and how to better prevent them.

Because crash reports contain limited data, bicycle accidents victims are encouraged to collect as much information as possible, particularly if injuries result. As soon as practically possible, write how the accident occurred; when and where it happened; and the road, traffic, and weather condition. You should also take pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your bike, and any injuries.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego bicycle accident, don’t hesitate to contacta San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.