The New York Times recently posted a chilling article on the increase of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. due to collisions with motor vehicles. The U.S. has diverged over the past decade from other comparably developed countries, where traffic fatalities have been falling. This American exception became even starker during the pandemic. In 2020, as car travel plummeted around the world, traffic fatalities broadly fell as well. But in the U.S., the opposite happened. Travel declined, and deaths still went up. Preliminary federal data suggests road fatalities rose again in 2021. “The U.S. lag in addressing safety issues for bicycle commuters is a travesty,” states Jim Gooding, Shareholder and Senior Trial Counsel. “As a personal injury attorney and bike commuter, I get really fired up about this issue. These accidents and injuries are preventable, and it makes me angry that our government isn’t acting fast enough.”
- Much of the familiar explanation for America’s road safety record lies with a transportation system primarily designed to move cars quickly, not to move people safely.
- Over the past 25 years as cars have grown safer for the people inside them, the U.S. didn’t progress as other countries did to prioritizing the safety of people outside them.
- Other developed countries lowered speed limits and built more protected bike lanes. They moved faster in making standard in-vehicle technology like automatic braking systems that detect pedestrians, and vehicle hoods that are less deadly to them. They designed roundabouts that reduce the danger at intersections, where fatalities disproportionately occur.
- Washington State has committed to the “Vision Zero” pledge to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes, bicycle versus car accidents, and pedestrian versus vehicle collisions by 2030. Will it be enough?
Personal injury law cases from a bicycle injury can be complex, and it is important that an injured person understands the variety of different liability and insurance coverage issues that may apply to their case. If you or a loved one have been involved in a bicycle accident where you feel someone was at fault for that injury, they should have the facts of their claim reviewed for free by an attorney as soon as possible. Please call 800-273-5005 or email our attorneys for a complimentary case assessment.