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If you are riding a bicycle on the roads of Pennsylvania, you have a full knowledge of how dangerous it can be. Drivers in cars and trucks breeze past, not seeming to care about how close they come to your elbow. It comes as no surprise that numerous bikers get hurt in bicycle accidents every year in the state of Pennsylvania and that dozens of those victims die from their injuries.
The hard statistics on bicycle accidents in Pennsylvania back this up and are even more disturbing than some riders realize. The prevalence and severity of these crashes are why the personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian represent injured bikers and their families both in and out of court, helping them get the compensation they need and deserve after a bicycle crash. Contact them online.
Department of Transportation Keeps Tabs on Bike Accidents in Pennsylvania
Every year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) reports on how many bicyclists were involved in crashes in the state, how many were hurt, how many were killed, and the details surrounding the crashes that happened. These statistics are worth looking at, to determine if appropriate steps are being taken to ensure the safety of bikers and how effective those steps have been. Additionally, looking at several years of data can show whether things are getting better or worse off for bikers in the state, which can provide valuable information on whether we are heading in the right direction or if we need to make drastic changes to improve.
Statistics of Bicycle Accidents in Pennsylvania in 2017
According to the DOT, the year 2017 saw only 1,141 bicycle crashes that were reported to the police. However, 21 bikers lost their lives in those crashes.
A significant portion of the injuries and fatalities among bikers fell along the lines of the biker’s age. Around one out of every five bikers who were hurt in accidents with motor vehicles in Pennsylvania were under the age of 14. Riders in this age group also accounted for nearly one in four of the fatalities that bikers suffered over the course of the year. Close behind these young riders were teenaged bikers between 15 and 19 years of age: they accounted for 14.2% of the injuries and 9.5% of the fatalities on the roads of the state in 2017.
In addition to the age of the rider, the type of the road that saw the crash played a significant factor in bicycle statistics. According to the DOT’s 2017 report, 81% of the fatalities suffered by bicyclists in Pennsylvania happened on state highways, like Route 1, Route 202, or Route 309. Injuries, on the other hand, were almost evenly split between these major state roadways and smaller local thoroughfares.
Similarly, intersections proved to be a source of contention between bicyclists and other vehicles on the roads of Pennsylvania. According to the DOT’s figures, while close to half of the biker fatalities happened in non-intersection roadways, only 35.1% of the injuries suffered by bikers were away from intersections. This shows how frequently bikers get hit by other vehicles where roads merge and drivers can get confused by the presence of a person on a bike.
Finally, the time of day proved to be a significant factor in the severity of the injuries that were suffered by the biker in a bicycle crash. While the vast majority of the injuries that bikers suffered in an accident occurred during the daylight hours – 75.6%, or three out of every four injuries – nearly half of the fatalities occurred in the dark. In some of these cases, undoubtedly, the biker was partly to blame for not using proper lights or other equipment so they could be easily seen by drivers. Regardless, though, the high fatality rate at night was a stark warning that bicycle and driving safety is especially important when the sun goes down.
Trends in the Statistics
Taken in isolation, these statistics on bicycle crashes in Pennsylvania in 2017 serve little purpose. 1,141 bicycle crashes sounds like a lot, but how does it compare to previous years?
Strangely, when compared to the past five years, the DOT’s reported numbers for 2017 show that there were fewer crashes in the state, but more fatalities. However, because the number of fatalities is so low – hovering around the 20 mark annually – only a couple of unfortunate accidents that create a fatality can skew numbers upwards drastically. This makes the sudden increase in the number of fatalities far less important to note than the sharp drop in the number of bike crashes in the state, last year:
While these numbers show a steady change in the right direction, there are still more than a thousand bicycle crashes every year in the state of Pennsylvania. Worse, because we live in a state that has a long winter – unlike in other states like Florida or Texas – this means that the vast majority of these crashes happen in the confines of the eight or nine months that are warm and dry enough to ride a bicycle.
Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian
The personal injury lawyers at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian in Philadelphia strive to represent injured bikers in the state of Pennsylvania. We know and understand the desire to travel by bike, whether for work or for pleasure and actively advocate for your right to do so. When other drivers do not take those rights seriously, or drive negligently enough to put you in such extreme danger that you get hurt in a crash, we will be there to fight for your interests both inside a courtroom and outside of it.
Contact us online if you or someone you love has been hurt in a bicycle accident. Our lawyers will represent you as you recover and get you the compensation you need and deserve.