In Pittsburgh, as in most cities, the headlines get echoed again and again: 22-year-old bicyclist struck and killed on Brookline Boulevard, 55-year-old bicyclist struck on his way home from work, 58-year-old bicyclist hit and killed by a car in Bullskin Township, a man riding his bicycle home from work was struck by a car and killed on Baldwin Road in the Hays section of the city, former Pittsburgh firefighter killed on his bicycle in Allegheny County. Our Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys at SMT Legal have seen the results of these accidents, and we are here to help.
Understanding the dangers
A bicyclist is involved in a reportable crash every six days. A reportable crash is defined as any collision which requires a police report, occurs on a highway or road that is open to the public or an injury or fatality occurs.
In 2017, Bike Pittsburgh compiled a report on biking safety in the city and surrounding areas from 2011 until 2015. The results are alarming. In 2015, 40% of fatal collisions involved pedestrians or bicyclists. Nationwide, bicycle accidents peaked with a 12.2% increase in 2015. In Pennsylvania, 16 bicyclists died in 2015 and 16 more in 2016.
The research confirms more people are bicycling in recent years. People concerned with the climate and the health-conscious, coupled with the growth of bike-sharing services in cities have led to more Americans peddling on their commutes.
City officials and planners have struggled to keep up with the rise of bike riders. Their engineering solutions and better roadway designs are vital improvements. State highway safety agencies have also been tasked with education and enforcement.
A study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association states, “89% of motorists didn’t see the bicyclist before the crash.” According to the researchers, the best way to improve bike safety is to increase the number of bikers in urban areas.
While the visibility of bicyclists grows, it is important for the bikers to know the rules:
- Wear a properly-fitted helmet
- Adjust your bicycle to fit your height and leg/arm length
- Check your equipment—inflate tires properly and check your brakes
- See and be seen—wear neon, fluorescent, or bright colors for day or night riding Also wear something that reflects light like reflective tape or flashing lights
- Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry items in a basket or backpack
- Avoid road hazards like potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs
- Avoid riding at night if you can
- Go with the flow of traffic
- Obey all traffic laws
- Yield to traffic
- Be predictable—ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars, and signal your moves
- Stay alert at all times
- Look before turning
- Watch for parked cars to open doors or back up
Where to turn
Victims of bicycle accidents can experience disastrous results—fractures, broken bones, head injuries, even death. If you or a loved one was involved in a biking accident, you may have the right to seek compensation for injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.
The Pittsburgh bicycle accident attorneys at SMT Legal will do everything possible to get you the money you deserve and recover what you are owed for your injuries. We are available 24/7. Call us at 412-819-2686 and let us provide answers and information with a free consultation.