In an active community like Las Vegas, blessed by desert weather, bicyclists and pedestrians are active year-round. Unfortunately, that means accidents involving them are year-round occurrences as well.
Nine bicyclists were killed in Clark County, Nevada, in 2017, an increase of three over 2016, according to the state Department of Transportation. And a rise in bicycle fatalities in 2015 – when seven people had been killed before the end of June, including a 13-year-old boy – caused authorities to focus on helmet safety at a University Medical Center event that summer.
When a bicycle rider is involved in a traffic accident, the force of impact from a vehicle and/or from hitting the ground can cause severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Nevada law does not require bicyclists to wear helmets, but even when they do, they can be hurt more severely than in a car accident, including fractures, dental injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputation, nerve damage and road rash.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2015, there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries nationwide; more than 1,000 cyclists died. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that the 2015 rate of deaths to “pedacyclists” – a term that includes two-wheelers, tricycles, unicycles and other two-wheeled non-motorized vehicles – was 12.2 percent higher than the number who died in 2014. And for 2016, the NHTSA reported the following facts:
- 71 percent of pedacyclist accidents happened in urban areas.
- Most fatalities occurred at non-intersections (61 percent); 28 percent happened at intersections, 6 percent happened on the shoulder or roadside, and 3 percent happened in bike lanes.
- Between 2007 and 2016, the average age of a cyclist who died was 40-46.
- In 2015, 5.6 times more males were killed than females.
- Alcohol was involved in 35 percent of all 2016 cyclist fatalities (either on the part of the cyclist or the part of the driver).
All of these facts suggest that being a bicycle rider – especially in urban areas – is carrying a greater degree of danger than in the past. In Nevada, many motorists may not be aware of laws that require drivers to allow three feet between themselves and a bicyclist, and to move into another lane when it is safe to do so. Because of this, they may inadvertently cause a collision even when the bicyclist was clearly visible.
If you or a family member has been involved in a serious bicycle accident, you should know that you may be entitled to compensation to help cover medical expenses, lost wages (past and future), and other financial needs. In the case of a death, there may be devastating emotional pain and suffering. As soon as you can after an accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to talk about your situation.
The attorneys of Mazzeo Law, LLC, are Las Vegas personal injury attorneys with over 29 years litigation experience. We put our knowledge and experience to work for you, and we have a high success rate of obtaining justice and compensation for our clients.
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