Residents in Oregon and elsewhere often enjoy other means of transportation than motor vehicles. Whether a bicycle is used as a main source of transportation, for exercise, or mere enjoyment, they and their riders can be observed throughout the state. While it is commonplace to ride bikes, this activity does not come without any risks. Bicyclists often share the road with motor vehicles, and if a driver is not attentive or cautious around a bicyclist, then a serious and even fatal bicycle accident may occur.
What are major risks of bicycle accidents? In Portland and other cities across the nation, over 1,000 cyclists are killed each year and nearly 500,000 are injured in accidents involving motor vehicles. There are many factors to consider when looking at these numbers. This first is the age of the victim. With regard to fatal accidents, the highest rate is among adults aged 50 to 59 years. The highest rate of nonfatal bicycle accidents is among children between the ages of five and 14 and adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19. Roughly one-third of all injuries caused by an accident involving a bicycle are accounted for by these two age groups.
Location also plays a role in bicycle accidents. It was found that more fatal accidents occurred in urban areas and at non-intersections compared to rural areas. Additionally, researchers found that alcohol was involved in 37% of bicycle deaths, which involved either the motor vehicle driver or the bicyclist under the influence of alcohol. Other negligent acts also contribute to bicycle accidents, such as distracted and drowsy driving.
Sadly, far too often innocent bicyclists are injured at the hands of negligent drivers. The aftermath of a bicycle accident can be severe and gruesome, too. A bicyclist can suffer serious injuries in a collision, as the force of the crash could send them flying off of their bike and onto the ground. This oftentimes results in injuries to the head, neck, back, and extremities. Thus, it is important for victims to explore their legal options. A personal injury action could help one recover the damages to which they are entitled. A monetary award could help address medical bills, lost wages, and other losses suffered.