Articles Tagged with bicycle accidents

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The month of May marked the beginning of national bicycle safety month.  Thanks to a greater focus on helmet usage and other factors, there has been a significant reduction in the number of American children suffering serious head injuries in bicycle accidents.  However, adults continue to be at risk of suffering head injuries in these accidents, with injury rates in this section of the population barely budging.

According to a new study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, there was a significant drop of close to 50% in bicycle-related head injuries in children between 2009 and 2018. The researchers credit a number of factors for this significant drop in injuries in this section of the population.  The most important factor has been the increased usage of bicycle helmets.  Awareness campaigns that have pushed for the use of helmets in children have led to a greater awareness of the risk of bicycle-related head injuries in this section of the population. These injuries can be especially dangerous in little ones.  Several cities, including those in Georgia, have also significantly invested in the construction of bicycle lanes that have ensured that children and adults are not exposed to motorists and the risks of accidents involving cars.

However, those same safety interventions do not have seem to have had any effect on the number of head injuries in adults.  During the same period of time, the rate of traumatic brain injury involving bicycle accidents among adults dropped by less than 5.5%. This in spite of the fact that there was an increase in bicycle accident-related fatalities among adults during the study. In fact, in 2018, the number of bicycle accident fatalities involving adults in the United States was the highest in over two decades. According to the researchers, the drop in bicycle head injuries involving children has been as much as 9 times greater than those involving adults.

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The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety kickstarted its nationwide bicycle safety awareness program by making a number of stops across the state of Georgia. Several cities played host to the new public awareness campaign that is focusing especially on bicycle safety in the month of May.

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is commemorating the month of May as National Bicycle Safety Month. As part of the campaign, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety conducted a “Capital to Coast 2021” program across the state. This program involved an educational tour that covered 5 cities in Georgia- Atlanta, Athens, Macon, Savannah and Brunswick.

The campaign focused on important bicycle safety issues, including enhancing bicycle helmet usage. The risk of many injuries, especially head injuries in bicycle accidents, can be reduced with the proper usage of bicycle helmets.  The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has been focusing on increasing awareness of the need for helmet usage and the safe ways of wearing helmets.

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The National Transportation Safety Board is calling on Georgia and other states to take stringent action to reduce the number of bicyclists killed in accidents every year.

The National Transportation Board recently released its first report on bicycle safety since 1972.  The Board makes note of the fact that there has been a spike in bicycle accident deaths, specifically the 857 bicycle accident deaths that occurred in 2018.  There was an increase in bicycle accident deaths in 2018, even as there was an overall drop in auto accidents that year.  Those numbers were an increase of 6.3 percent from the previous year. In fact, the bicycle accident death toll in 2018 was the highest number on record since 1990.

The record fatality numbers in 2018 is likely the reason why the National Transportation Safety Board has decided to address the issue of bicycle safety for the first time since 1972. The Board makes note of the poor infrastructure that is often the cause of bicycle accidents. Too many cities in Georgia have seen an increase in their bicycle population, but oftentimes there is no safe infrastructure in place to support it. This situation has resulted in a staggering increase in bicycle accident deaths in urban areas. Since 2009, the number of bicycle accident deaths in urban areas has increased by a whopping 48 percent.

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New data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals both good and bad news for drivers and pedestrians.

The good news is that the agency recorded an overall drop in traffic accident fatalities across the United States in 2018. The bad news is that while there was a drop in the number of people killed in car accidents in the country last year, there was actually an uptick in the number of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities during the same period of time.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a 2.4 percent drop in traffic accident deaths in 2018.  There were 36,560 traffic crash fatalities in 2018, compared to 37,473 deaths in 2018.  The fatality rate dropped from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018. This is also the lowest recorded fatality rate in five years.

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Georgia has seen an increase in bicyclist on the roads in the past several years.  While the state laws have a few protections in place for bicyclists, the city of Dunwoody is going one step further and proposing a new law that have even tougher penalties for dangerous drivers, and make the roads safer for bicyclists.

The Dunwoody ordinance was introduced by City Councilman Tom Lambert.  Currently, Georgia laws require that vehicles maintain a distance of a minimum of 3 feet while passing bicyclists.  However, the ordinance would extend that provision to 6 feet, and would add trucks and commercial vehicles to the law.  These vehicles would be required to maintain a distance of a minimum of 6 feet while passing bicyclists.

The ordinance also proposes stiffer penalties for motorists who fail to respect the rights of bicyclists. It goes further than any other such similar ordinances passed elsewhere in the state, because it specifically targets motorists who engage in intimidating and harassing actions towards bicyclists. As many cyclists in Atlanta know, cyclists are far too vulnerable to road rage incidents, and are most likely to become victims of aggressive driving or harassment. Unfortunately, many motorists believe that the roads were created exclusively for the use of four-wheelers and passenger cars, and many do not respect bicyclist rights.  Despite encouraging everyone to “share the road,” not all do.

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Despite laws in Georgia and throughout the country, it may be surprising to know that many American parents fail to require their children to wear protective helmets while riding a bicycle or scooter, or skateboarding.

Those were the findings of a new poll that surveyed 1,300 parents across the country. According to the poll, as many as 18 percent of the parents admitted that their children never wore bicycle helmets while riding a bike. More than 58 percent admitted that their children didn’t wear helmets while skateboarding, and 61 percent admitted that their children never wore helmets while riding scooters.

Bicycling, skateboarding, and riding scooters are becoming more and more popular in Atlanta, not just as a form of recreation, but also as a form of transportation.  These activities, however, also have a high potential for causing serious, or even fatal, injuries to a child.  When a parent allows a child to ride without wearing a safety helmet, this only contributes to the risk of the child incurring serious injuries which can have devastating and often life-long impacts.

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We all remember that great feeling you had when you finally learned how to ride a bike.  However, no piece of recreational equipment has as much potential for serious injury to children as the humble bicycle. Research indicates that far too many children are being rushed to emergency rooms across Georgia every day with injuries that result from bike accidents

Bicycling is, and has been for generations, an extremely popular activity for children.  Bike riding can be done any time of the year and almost anywhere you go.  The risk of injury, however, are ever present and increase significantly when children are allowed to ride a bike without following basic safety protocols.

Research published in the journal Injury Prevention recently indicates that many as 50 percent of all bicycle injuries that require treatment at an emergency room involve children below the age of 12.  The number of children who were not wearing bicycle helmets at the time of the accident was also similar. Only half of children below the age of 5, and only 32 percent of children between 13 and 19 years of age were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.

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Bicycle accidents take a heavy toll on the US economy. Now, a new study finds that these crashes cost the American economy more than $24 billion a year in health care and other costs. What’s worse, the study also finds that those costs have been steadily increasing over the years.

Researchers focused on fatal and non-fatal bicycle accidents across the country between 1999 and 2013. They found that during this period of time, there were a total of 3.8 million non-fatal bicycle accident injuries and nearly 10,000 bicycle accident fatalities. Researchers also found an alarming 120% increase in the number of hospital admissions related to bicycle accidents.

There is a specific reason why costs associated with bicycle accidents, especially healthcare costs, have been increasing the way they have. Accidents involving older bicyclists are one of those factors. Accident-related costs involving cyclists over the age of 45 contribute heavily to those expenses, because these crashes are usually involve longer hospital stays, and higher recovery times after accidents.

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