How Pedestrians and Bicyclists Can Avoid Personal Injuries
Walking or riding a bike is a great way to exercise and save money on your commute. However, the majority of pedestrians and bicyclists are walking or riding near major roads, where traffic is an imminent concern. Across the United States, more than 400 pedestrians are seen in the emergency room every day for accidents involving motor vehicles, with a pedestrian passing away from such injuries once every two hours, on average. This results in a total of 735 pedestrian deaths and 156,000 pedestrian emergency room injuries each single year.
Meanwhile, 900 bicyclists die each year, with 23,000 being admitted to hospitals, 580,000 being seen in the ER, and more than one million being seen by their primary care doctor for bicycling injuries every year. The ultimate cost of all of these injuries is greater than $8 billion each year in the United States.
Injuries and Deaths of Child Pedestrians and Bicyclists
While the majority of pedestrians who are treated at the ER for injuries related to traffic are between the ages of 15 and 29 (and are primarily males), children are at the greatest risk of serious injury and death when such accidents occur. Twenty percent of all traffic deaths of children under the age of 15 involve situations where the children were pedestrians.
Recreational injuries are especially common in children between the ages of five years and 17 years old, with more than four million such injuries every year in the US. Forty percent of those injuries are related to bicycles. In fact, bicycles are related to more injuries than almost any other cause, second only to injuries caused by riding animals. In urban areas, there are close to 40 severe injuries for every 100,000 residents of the area. The majority of deaths related to bicycle accidents are to children between the ages of nine years and 15 years old.
Risk Factors for Accidental Deaths Involving Adults and Children on Bicycles
The most commonly seen risk factors involving accidental deaths for both adults and children who are riding bicycles include failing to wear a helmet, riding in unsafe environments, collisions with motor vehicles, and being male. More males than females are seriously injured or die from their injuries on bicycles, which is a risk factor you can’t control.
However, you can control many of these risk factors by riding in safe environments, wearing a helmet, and paying attention to the traffic around you. You can also avoid riding your bicycle while intoxicated, as this is yet another risk factor that can be controlled.
Having said that, there are many accidents involving adults and children on bicycles that are not the bicyclist’s fault, but rather are due to the actions of an unsafe driver. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by an unsafe driver, contact Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC to get started on your personal injury or wrongful death claim in North Carolina.
How Pedestrians Can Reduce Risks of Injury and Death
As a pedestrian, you can also reduce your risk of becoming injured or losing your life to an accident. You can do this by carefully observing your surroundings, avoiding distractions (like electronics), using crosswalks and intersections when crossing the street, wearing clothing that is easily visible or reflective if you walk somewhere in the dark, using sidewalks wherever possible, and staying on the shoulder of the road when there are no sidewalks. If you aren’t wearing highly visible clothing, then carrying a flashlight can make you more visible after dark. If you are walking on the shoulder of the road because there isn’t a sidewalk, then walking on the side of the road that allows you to face traffic is also wise. In fact, in North Carolina the law requires pedestrians (including joggers) to walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
If you have children who are also pedestrians or bicyclists, you should have a conversation with them about how they can minimize their risks of accidental injury or death in the same way. The most severe injuries and the highest likelihood of death from those injuries occur when motor vehicles are involved in the accident, especially at high speeds. Such accidents can cause severe trauma to the musculoskeletal system, soft tissue injuries, severe head injuries, permanent disabilities, and in the worst cases, death.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney After a Pedestrian or Bicyclist Accident
Depending on the cause and outcome of your pedestrian or bicyclist accident, you may need a personal injury attorney in North Carolina to help you to pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party. In cases that involve motor vehicles striking a pedestrian or bicyclists, this is certainly a necessary aspect of pursuing the compensation that you need and deserve for your medical care expenses, any time off work, pain and suffering, and more.
If you, your child, or another loved one has been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, contact Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC for a free consultation. If you wind up hurt while riding your bike, a dedicated personal injury lawyer in North Carolina can explain the options you have available when seeking justice.