One of the least incredible moments of the fantastical film, The Wizard of Oz involves a bicycling trip that ends in disaster. In that scene, we see the crotchety Miss Gulch pack away Dorothy’s terrier into her bicycle basket and set off down the road to have him put down for biting her. While she pedals along on her mission of death, she is picked up by a tornado, after which she continues pedaling, unperturbed, until she finally transforms into a witch on a broomstick.
Whether or not they find themselves bicycling on the spiral of a tornado, every bicyclist faces certain hazards everywhere they go. Most do not run the risk of transmogrification into a villainous sorcerer, but they will often find themselves in danger of being struck by a car or run off the road. However, these risks are dramatically higher in some places than they are in others; and these are listed below:
1. Urban Areas
While it seems only logical that more bicycle accidents occur in urban areas—it is statistically more likely that a bicycle will collide with something when there are more things in the vicinity to collide with—this is especially true in cities in the United States. Here, cars are overwhelmingly the preferred mode of travel, and bicyclists are an uncommon sight for which most motorists are unprepared. This fact helps to explain why the backdrop for 72% of fatal bicycle accidents in the U.S. is urban.
Even taking into account that they are fraught with potential danger, even to more visible commuters, the percentage of fatal bicycle accidents that take place at intersections is pretty astonishing—approximately 35% of them, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Nowhere are bicyclist visibility and adherence to traffic regulations more vital than at an intersection.
3. Major Roads
The same study found that 58% of bicyclist deaths were on major roads (excluding freeways and interstates). It is especially common that roads on which bicyclists share lanes with cars, motorcyclists, and others will see more problems as everyone tries to make a place for themselves in the midst of so many others. However, as difficult as this may be to accommodate everyone, everyone is entitled to a safe journey.
If your safe journey is disrupted by an act of recklessness or carelessness that leaves you severely injured and unable to cover the influx of medical costs that pile up around you, personal injury attorneys are offering help—regardless of whether or not the person injured is a client. To request their free bicycle book, you can visit UtahAccidentBooks.com or call 1-800-LAW-BOOK. However, if you have reached a point at which you would like to discuss the possibility of retaining a personal injury attorney, call for a free initial consultation at (801) 506-0800.
Image Courtesy of Flowizm