To Prevent Bicycle Accident Fatalities, Focus on Automakers

bike%2008377.jpgAs we’ve reported previously, the number of bicyclists in Indiana has increased significantly over the past decade and with this increase comes an increased risk of bicycle accidents. Over the past few years, bicycle safety initiatives have mainly focused on enhancing city and state infrastructure to help reduce the risk of accidents and fatalities. However, these efforts have not really focused on the role of motor vehicles in keeping bicyclists safer.

Thankfully, an increasing number of automakers are taking the initiative on this front. They are experimenting with technology that could help detect objects in the path of a car, thereby helping prevent many accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were a total of more than 3,300 bicycle accident fatalities between 2008 and 2012. Out of those, almost three-quarters of the fatalities occurred when a bicycle was hit a passenger vehicle.

A growing number of automakers are currently adding technology in their cars that would detect bicycles in their path. For instance, Volvo currently has technology on some of its models that detects pedestrians in the path of the motor vehicle. However, more advanced technology would specifically detect the back of another vehicle, including bikes, and prevent a potential accident. Accidents which involve a bicycle rider being stuck by behind are the most common types of accidents involving bicycles and have a high potential to cause injuries or fatalities. According to researchers, if this technology could be expanded to cover more vehicles, it could help significantly reduce the number of people being killed in bicycle accidents every year.

In fact, the researchers believe that auto safety technology is key to lowering the numbers of bicycle accident fatalities every year. Better infrastructure and more education initiatives targeting motorists can help, but it’s still very important to account for motorist error and failure to stop in time to avoid a bicycle in front. Bicycle detection technology can be useful in helping reduce these very common types of accidents.

Bicycle accidents can be very serious, and are much more likely to result in devastating injury or fatality. A typical bicyclist, even when wearing a helmet, has very minimal protection against injuries, and the risk of serious or life-threatening injury is very real. Until more vehicles come equipped with technology that can help detect bicycles and their riders, bicyclists must take as many steps as possible to remain safe.

Ride responsibly, avoid distractions, and stay visible to motorists on the street.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle-car accident, talk to one of our experienced attorneys about your case. The attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kenney, LLP are ready to discuss your case today.