Spring in Wisconsin means the re-introduction of cyclists on roadways. Drivers must be highly sensitive and aware of who they are sharing the roads with to avoid common errors that can become deadly to a cyclist. Although a bike is a far more vulnerable mode of transportation, in Wisconsin, bicyclists are still considered “vehicles.” This means that they must obey the same rules of the road as cars and trucks. It also means that the rest of us are expected to treat bicyclists with respect and acknowledge that they have equal rights to travel the same roads.
Deaths among bicyclists 20 years and older have nearly tripled since 1975. As the popularity of cycling has increased over the years, so has the need to educate and implement more safety measures to keep riders safe. The following facts were posted just last month from the Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System. (All data pertains to full year 2014):
Cycling Accident Statistics
- A total of 720 bicyclists were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles.
- Many more male than female bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles.
- Among bicyclists ages 16 and older who were killed, 21% had blood alcohol concentrations at or above .08%.
- Bicyclist deaths peak 6pm to 9pm.
- Bicyclists deaths were highest during August, September, and October.
Cyclists account for a small number of traffic deaths, but when a cyclist is killed, an automobile is usually the cause. Abrasions and lacerations are common in a bike accident, as are sprains and contusions. When a traumatic injury occurs, it is more likely to be in the upper extremity rather than to the lower extremity. A head injury is one of the most horrific traumatic injuries that can result from a collision between a bike and vehicle. Head injuries can have devastating life-long impact but can sometimes be prevented with the use of a helmet.
Wisconsin Cycling Laws
Wisconsin does not have a mandatory bike helmet law for adults or children. That means anyone can legally ride their bicycles without a helmet, although it is not recommended. Helmet use has been estimated to reduce the odds of head injury by 50 percent, and the odds of head, face, or neck injury by 33 percent. However, at least 60% of bicyclists killed in 2014 were not wearing helmets. (Helmet use was unknown for the another 24%.) Although helmets are not one of them, there are many other Wisconsin bike laws intended to prevent cycle accidents such as the “3-foot passing law,” and “legal to ride two abreast law,” and “distracted driving law.”
Inured? Take Action!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, hit-and-run or resulted in aggravated vehicular homicide, find an attorney that can stand up for your rights, or the rights of your loved one. Accidents can have a tremendous negative impact on the future. Action Law Offices can’t change what happened, but can help ensure that you or your loved ones get the compensation that is rightfully due. Call today for a free case evaluation. 414-456-1111.