Philly Ranked as One of Most Dangerous Cities for Bicyclists
December 28, 2018
If you are a cyclist who lives in Philadelphia, it is probably no surprise that the city was named the ninth-most dangerous in the country for bicyclists. Conducted by 24/7 Wall Street, researchers accumulated data (such as the number of traffic fatalities compared to overall population size) from a total of thirty-two different cities. They concluded that the most dangerous ones – like Philadelphia – are in desperate need of improved bicycle safety laws, which help save lives and prevent debilitating injuries.
The study’s researchers observed that 70% of accidents involving bicycles happen in urban areas. Hearing driving-related horror stories from local residents is somewhat common, along with the near-death tales of bicyclists who are hit or dragged by cars. Although city officials have implemented several different plans – all with the goal of making local roadways safer for cyclists – too many men and women are injured and killed while cycling every year.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BCGP) – a local non-profit bicyclist safety organization – reports that in 2016, four bicyclists died in motor vehicle-related accidents. The organization also notes that despite a decreasing number of traffic-related fatalities (e.g. accidents between automobiles) in the state, that the number of bicyclist-related fatalities is the highest it has been in nearly 20 years. With the wealth of data available, city officials need to keep coming up with new ways to ensure the safety of thousands of cyclists.
Who is in Danger?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – or NHTSA – more than 40,000 bicyclists are injured in automobile-related accidents annually, and the numbers continue to increase. The administration reports that certain individuals are at a higher risk for serious or fatal bicycle-related injuries, such as:
- Males between the ages of 24 and 45-years-old;
- Individuals who cycle between the hours of 6 and 8:59 p.m. (and in urban areas);
- People who ride while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and:
- Cyclists who are drowsy or distracted
Although collisions between bicyclists and motor vehicles account for the majority of injuries and fatalities that occur, other situations can also increase the likelihood for serious and dangerous bicycle-related accidents. Some examples of these risk factors include when a bicyclist unexpectedly comes into contact with an animal, bicycling on unmaintained or poorly maintained roadways, and falling off of a bicycle.
A Few Final Words on Bicycle Safety
Bicyclists should be sure to observe general safety rules and to follow all posted traffic laws and warnings. Pennsylvania bicyclists should check out the PA Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Bicycle Driver’s Manual, which you can visit here: https://www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/RideaBike/Pages/default.aspx.
The NHTSA provides numerous resources that relate to bicycle safety. Here are a few examples of tips from the administration:
- Always wear a helmet (and make sure it is the right size and properly fitted);
- If possible, avoid biking between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.;
- Never ride after consuming alcohol or doing drugs;
- Make sure your bike fits you comfortably (e.g. is not too small or too large);
- Wear equipment that makes you visible, such as reflective gear and/or flashing lights, and:
- Never ride a bike that does not work properly (e.g. broken gears, flat tire, etc.) – this only increases the chances of an accident!
If you have any questions about injuries you sustained in a bicycle accident, please contact a representative at our firm who can help.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals Injured in Bicycle Accidents
At Galfand Berger, our personal injury lawyers 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.