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
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.