Tragedy struck in Michigan earlier this week when five bikers were killed in a fatal bike truck crash. The five bikers were killed and four others seriously injured when a pickup truck ran into the riding group. Each year, over two percent of motor vehicle crash deaths in the U.S. are bicyclists, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The NHTSA reported 726 bicyclist motor vehicle crash deaths in 2014.
In Pennsylvania in 2014, there were 19 bicycle crash deaths, up from 11 in the previous year, and nearly 1,300 injuries. 95% of the deaths occurred on state highways, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. This is the time of year when bicyclists are most active in northeast Pennsylvania and seen often on roadways throughout the state. All motor vehicle drivers should be cautious around, and on the lookout for bikers when driving, especially on higher speed limit roads. One of the most frequent causes of serious injury to a bicyclist is getting hit by a car, and one of the most common causes of a car bike collision or a bike truck crash is a motor vehicle driver who does not yield.
A collision with a vehicle, such as a bike truck crash, is one of the greatest dangers faced by a cyclist. A passenger vehicle weighs a few thousand pounds and a truck even more, while a bike only weighs about 20 pounds. This leaves bikers very unprotected and in risk of serious injury when involved in a collision with a vehicle.
Ten Traffic Safety Tips for Bikers
- Always wear a helmet
- Wear bright or reflective clothing and always stay visible. If drivers can see you, they are less likely to hit you.
- Always ride in the same direction as traffic
- Stay alert and pay attention to the road and traffic around you. Slow down and stay alert when passing driveways, alleys and other crossing roadways. Do not get distracted.
- Follow the law and all traffic signs and signals.
- Use proper hand signals to alert drivers as to what you are doing.
- Be predictable to vehicles around you. Do not weave in and out of traffic.
- Be sure your bike is in proper working order.
- Be sure to look both ways before crossing any street, and never assume a vehicle is going to stop for you.
- Be sure to have a headlight and adequate reflective materials when riding at night.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a bicycle traffic accident, contact the injury lawyers at Distasio & Kowalski in Wilkes-Barre today at 570-970-5400 for a free consultation. Your safety is our top priority.