Sharing the road with bicyclists can be tricky, especially if you're visiting larger cities like Pittsburgh. The city has acknowledged this issue as well, and is working towards the development of safers path that hopes to benefit both cyclists and car drivers with a development of a newly released master plan. Fatal accidents involving bicyclists are on the rise across the country, and city officials across the country are trying to find ways to turn that trend around. For example, in Allegheny County alone, there were over 60 bike crashes in 2018. One of the victims died, and over ten accidents resulted in large, significant injuries. It is imperative that car drivers share the road with bicyclists and are frequently watching for them on the roads as they drive.
PennDOT periodically partners with other organizations to hold events aimed at community outreach and safety. Recently, they held an event in partnership with several other organizations in Lycoming County to raise awareness about bicycle safety. This event, which was a bike rodeo, focused on bike safety and helmet use in an effort to address Bicycle Safety Month. Children who attended this event learned about PA's bicycle laws and general safety tips. Some children received a free helmet, and there was a bicycle course set up at the event for participants to ride through. PennDOT data from 2017 reflects a high number of bicycle accidents across the state, including over 1,000 crashes. These crashes resulted in nearly 100 significant medical injuries and over 20 deaths. Hopefully, these outreach programs will reduce these statistics in the coming years.
- Always, always, ALWAYS wear a helmet.
- Make sure your bicycle is in good working order, including the tire pressure, brakes, and reflectors.
- Wear reflective and bright clothing any time you're riding.
- Respect cars on the road and leave room! Be aware of their blind spots, including car doors potentially opening towards you.
Always be careful on the road because bicyclists may be around! In the Hartford, CT area a driver was presumably not looking at his surroundings and hit a nearby bicyclist on the road. This car then crashed into the end of a school bus. The driver then tried to flee the scene on foot. According to some news sources, there is question as to whether the driver was sober when operating the car.
It's back to school time! Be aware of the increase in children and families walking, driving, and taking the bus to their final stops.
A trial recently began for a man who hit and ran at a bicycle accident that killed the biker in 2015. According to news sources, the accident involved a driver who hit a bicyclist with his passenger-side mirror. The impact caused the biker to be thrown off of his bike. He then later died of head injuries. The driver of the car was driving with a suspended/revoked license. Witnesses say that the driver didn't appear to slow down either during or after the accident.
Spring is finally here! That means many more people will be outside enjoying the weather and riding their bicycles. However, this also means that these same people are at a higher risk for accident and injury on the road. According to some reports, about half a million people each year need medical treatment as a result of of bike accidents, and almost a thousand people die each year. Most of these deaths are the result of a brain injury. In general, many of these accidents involve a brain injury too, some of which are difficult or impossible to fully recover from.
Recently, PennLive.com posted a very relevant and interesting article about the state of bicycle safety in Pennsylvania. Recently, a man in Pittsburgh was killed while biking home from the South Side docks. In the aftermath of his death, public commentary has begun about the state of bicyclist safety in our area and state. Pennsylvania has seen some of the largest growth in bicycle traffic in the nation. However, many of our bicycle rules and policies are arguably outdated and dangerous, according to some people.