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The high risk of death and serious injury for bicyclists

While riding your bicycle to work every day may be a good way to save money and the environment, there are also some fairly serious inherent risks. Thousands of bicyclists are killed and injured in car accidents every year.

In 1975, a full 1,003 bicyclists died in accidents. This fell for decades, but it saw a serious increase in 2015, when it jumped up more than 12 percent from 2014 and 818 people were killed.

In 2014, roughly 50,000 people were injured on their bikes while in traffic. Despite the rise in deaths in 2015, the injury stats did fall by about 10 percent, dropping to roughly 45,000.

Adult bicyclists do appear to be in the most danger. For example, the average age of those who pass away is 45 years old. In 2002, the average age was 36, so this has been increasing. That being said, 5,000 bicyclists under the age of 15 were hurt in 2014, and 37 of them were killed. That's 7 percent of the total.

Men are also in far more danger than women. A full 83 percent of those who were hurt were men, as were 87 percent of those who were killed.

It is worth noting that bike lanes can help. For example, one study found that just 3 percent of the deadly crashes happened in bike lanes. Sixty-one percent of these accidents happened in parts of the roadway other than intersections. The city is also most dangerous, as 70 percent of all deadly wrecks were in urban settings.

Have you been seriously injured in a bike accident by a negligent driver? As the medical bills pile up, it may be time to look into your legal rights.

Source: BHSI, "Statistics," accessed Aug. 31, 2017

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