According to the American Motor Carrier Safety Association (AMCSA), accidents between bicyclists, trucks, and buses can be particularly catastrophic for all involved parties. Thousands of Philadelphia residents bicycle to work and for recreational purposes – and hundreds of accidents happen every year. Although the city has made progress on bicycle safety, (e.g. removing unused portions of trolley tracks, installing additional bike lanes, and more) bicyclists still face serious risks every time they ride.
In 2016, nearly 1,000 bicyclists across the country were killed in fatal accidents (accounting for 2.2% of total traffic related fatalities that year), and almost 49,000 others sustained accident-related injuries. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that the number of annual cyclist fatalities is growing, which is likely the result of new bicyclists on roadways. Between 2000 and 2013, the number of cyclists on roadways increased by a whopping 62%; with various bike share programs popping up across major cities, it will likely continue to do so.
Collisions that occur between cyclists, trucks, and/or buses are more likely to result in serious, disabling injuries as well as fatalities. According to researchers from the Department of Transportation (DOT), cyclists are as much as three times more likely to die in truck-related crashes than pedestrians are. Often, city areas are even more dangerous for bicyclists. In New York City for example, every 1 out of 3 fatal bike accidents involves either a truck or bus.
There are numerous reasons behind why trucks and buses are able to inflict more physical damage on cyclists. Not only do bicyclists often lack physical protection (other than helmets and clothing), but also the average trucks and buses weigh tens of thousands of pounds. School buses weight approximately 24,000lbs, and semi trucks can weigh upwards of 80,000lbs (or more, depending on what commercial licenses they have).
There are other hazards associated that are commonly associated with trucks and buses, such as:
Until there are more laws and regulations in place to make the roads safer for drivers and cyclists, promoting education and accountability can have a positive impact on safe outcomes. The more caution that truckers, bus drivers and cyclists take to ride and drive safely, the more likely it is that there will be fewer deadly collisions.
Here are some helpful safety tips for bicyclists:
Truck and bus drivers need to be especially wary of their surroundings, particularly in urban settings and heavily congested areas. Here are some safety tips that are essential for bus and truck drivers to observe:
If you or a loved one was in a biking accident and sustained injuries, an attorney at our firm may be able to help you. If you have any questions or concerns about injuries or damages, please contact a representative directly.
At Galfand Berger, our personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia are experienced in representing bicycle accident victims. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.