Government data shows Houston bicycle accidents a serious threat

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released comprehensive information regarding bicycle accidents in Houston and elsewhere in Texas. The facts offer a sobering reminder of the risks faced by riders, particularly middle-aged men.

A top rated Houston auto crash attorney will note the overall decrease in cycling accidents nationwide, to 630 in 2009, compared to the 718 deaths reported in 2008. It is the first time the nation has recorded fewer than 700 deaths since 2003.

But that’s pretty much where the good news ends. More than 51,000 riders were seriously injured and Texas again proved to be one of the most dangerous states in the nation for riders. Texas bicycle accidents claimed 48 lives, only California and Florida reported more riding deaths.

The increase in the popularity of cycling for pleasure and for fitness has put an increasing number of adults at risk, particularly middle-aged men. In many of these cases, the accident victims are a family’s primary wage-earner, which can quickly lead to financial devastation. Riders deserve the same respect as a motorcyclist, a pedestrian or another passenger car. When a careless motorist strikes a cyclist, very serious or fatal injuries typically result.

In 2000, the average age of a rider killed was 35, while the average age of an injured rider was 25. By 2009, that had climbed to 41 for riders killed and 31 for riders injured. Nearly half of all fatal bicycle accidents occur between 4 p.m. and midnight. About one-third of those killed (244) were between the ages of 35 and 54. Seventy percent of fatal accidents occurred in urban areas.

Bicycle Safety Tips:

-Wear a properly fitted helmet.

-Obey the same rules of the road as a passenger car.

-Ride in the same direction as traffic.

-Drivers need to share the road.

-Allow at least three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist.

-Look for cyclists before opening car doors.

-Yield to cyclists at intersections.

-Bicyclists should wear bright clothing and utilize lights and reflectors at night. Reflective tape may also be used.

Katy Accident Lawyer Joe Stephens, a personal injury trial law specialist, offers free consultations to accident victims in the Houston area. You may also request your free copy of Attorney Stephens’ books, the Texas Accident Bible, A Survivor’s Legal Guide and Hiring the Right Attorney. Call today at 281-623-1701 or contact us through this website.