Bicycling is quite popular among Hoosiers, and Indiana cities are starting to see large numbers of bicyclists on the streets during the summer months. The riding isn’t just for pleasure. As more cities provide bicycle lanes, more and more are beginning to make cycling their choice of transportation for their daily commute to and from work. Those bicycling commuter numbers have increased steadily over the years. Unfortunately, that has also translated into a higher risk of bicycle accidents.
The data proves this. In 2010, 1,045 bicyclists were involved in accidents in Indiana. That is an increase of 7% from 2009, when 975 bicycle accidents were reported.
According to a new study, police accident reports fail to collect adequate and relevant information, especially considering the increasing numbers of bicyclists on our streets. The researchers believe that outdated police incident reporting forms have led to large amounts of significantly important data being lost, because important details are not being collected by police on these forms. This means a loss of an incredible amount of data that can be used to understand bicycle accidents, to identify the main causes of these accidents and implement strategies to eliminate accident causes.
The researchers believe that these police accident report forms could provide more important information that could result in the development of more bicycle-friendly policies, including the establishment of more numbers of bicycling lanes, safer intersections and streets. Including more relevant information, like the type of car that was involved in the collision, as well as information about whether the bicyclist was in a bike lane at the time of the accident, could help better understand the causes of these accidents.
Even as bicycling becomes even more popular among people in Indiana, the fact is that many of these individuals continue to remain at risk accidents. In 2010 approximately 19% of persons who were involved in bicycle accidents were hospitalized with serious or life-threatening injuries. 14 percent suffered fatal injuries, and 81 percent suffered injuries that left them incapacitated or disabled.
Better collection of data can help investigate the causes of these accidents, especially the underlying causes that may not always be evident in a regular police accident form.
The researchers believe that that enhanced police data collection would mean not just safer bicyclists, but would also mean fewer traumatized motorists involved in accidents. Drivers very often feel emotionally responsible, and traumatized when they are involved in in an injurious or fatal accident involving a bicycle.
If you or someone you were injured in a bicycle accident, speak with an Indiana bicycle accident lawyer at our firm. The attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson and Kennedy, LLP are waiting for your call.