Bicyclists in the Houston area know how crucial it is to be careful both on the busier streets and the backroads. A recent report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) highlighted just that.
The NTSB report, titled “Bicyclist Safety on US Roadways: Crash Risks and Countermeasures,” was the agency’s first bicycle safety report in 47 years. The report shows just how dangerous the country’s roads are for bicyclists.
Along with some alarming statistics, the report includes recommendations on how everyone can help make the roads safer for bicyclists, which will hopefully lead to a decrease in the number of bicycle accidents throughout the nation.
The report showed that there are a number of safety issues that put cyclists at risk for injuries or death due to a car crash. One of the biggest safety issues is that the current infrastructure does not help protect cyclists. Vehicles are simply too close to cyclists, and drivers often do not realize that bicyclists are nearby.
It is not only drivers and infrastructure that are to blame for bicycle accident injuries. The report also found that less than half of cyclists currently wear a helmet, and few bicyclists use headlights, even when cycling at night or in low-light conditions.
The safety issues are likely largely to blame for the increase in bicycle accidents around the country. According to the report, 857 cyclists were killed in accidents on the roads in 2018. That number is alarming, as it shows a 6.3 percent increase over the number of accidents that occurred in 2017.
In 2017, there had been a drop of 2.4 percent in cyclist fatalities, leading many to think that the roads were becoming safer for cyclists. Unfortunately, the recent numbers show that is just not true.
The report also showed that an overwhelming majority of accidents, 65 percent, occurred at intersections.
Based on the data gathered in the report, the federal agency made several recommendations on how the roads could be improved for cyclists. There were a total of 22 recommendations, but the most important included:
- Infrastructure should be redesigned to create more separation between vehicles and cyclists.
- Cyclist detection technology within vehicles should be improved.
- All 50 states should enact laws requiring all cyclists to wear helmets. (Texas does not currently have such a universal law.)
- All cyclists should use headlights when riding in low-light conditions.
- All cyclists and motorists should follow all traffic signs and signals.
The agency stated that if motorists, cyclists, governments, and car manufacturers follow these recommendations, it will save the lives of more cyclists.
Were You Injured While Riding a Bike? Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bike crash, our Houston bicycle accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™ can help. We know how to prove a driver was liable for your crash, and we will fight for the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.