Mountain Metropolitan Transit recently held Bike to Work Day to celebrate the rising popularity of using cycling as a mode of transportation. Held on June 24th, Bike to Work Day encouraged cyclists to leave the car keys at home. During this event, an inattentive driver hit a Colorado Springs police officer who had been taking part in the national event.
The 42-year-old officer was hit a block away from the police station by a vehicle attempting to make a left turn. According to the Colorado Police Department, the officer was injured and the driver was cited for careless driving and failure to yield. The officer recently returned to work, but reportedly is still recovering from the crash.
Fortunately, the officer was wearing protective clothing, but the accident represents a common threat to cyclists – inattentive motorists.
What Can Cause A Bicycle Accidents?
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that in 2013, there were 743 fatal bicycle accidents and an addition 48,000 that resulted in injuries. There are some consistencies in the data that suggest why bicycle accidents occur.
For example, 68 percent of bicycle accidents occur in urban areas, where population density is greater. Unsurprisingly, 57 percent of bicycle accidents in 2013 happened at intersections, with a majority occurring the late afternoon hours when visibility is poor.
In 2009, the NHTSA remarked that it was difficult to determine fault in bicycle accidents. However, a study from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety showed that motorists failing to yield the right-of-way was the most frequent contributing factor to bicycle accidents.
While motorists may be at fault for failing to spot cyclists, it is possible to reduce the chances of a bicycle accident by wearing bright clothing, utilizing reflective tape and cycling in groups.
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