Bicyclists Can Be At Risk On Bucks County Roads
Bicycling the roads of Bucks County is a popular way to see the local sites and stay fit at the same time. Though bicycling is excellent exercise and a great way to experience Bucks County, our narrow roads are often poorly maintained and at times heavy with traffic. It should come as no surprise that an afternoon ride can become a dangerous activity.
- In August 2015, a Washington Crossing resident was arrested after an accident that left a bicyclist riding on scenic River Road seriously injured, reports the Intelligencer.
- A bicyclist was injured in an accident in Yardley borough in May. The driver of the truck that hit him was arrested for drunk driving, according to Bucks Local News.
- In 2014, an accident left a 73 year old bicyclist dead in Yardley. He was riding on North Delaware Avenue when he was hit by a car, reports the Courier Times.
Nationwide the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates,
- Over 900 bicyclists were killed, and bicycle related injuries resulted in about 494,000 emergency department visits in 2013.
- Fatal and non-fatal accident bicycling injuries occurring in 2010 resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion.
The CDC states those aged 15 to 29 and 45 years and older have the highest bicycle fatality rates with males being far more likely to be killed or injured on bicycles than are females. Head injuries occur in 22% to 47% of injured bicyclists and are most often caused by collisions with motor vehicles, according to an article published in American Family Physician. These head injuries account for more than 60% of bicycle-related deaths and most bicycle-related long-term disabilities.
In Pennsylvania, bicyclists have as much a right to use the roads (but not highways) as cars or trucks. Under Pennsylvania law, drivers are required to keep a four foot distance between their vehicles and a bicyclist and are allowed go into an oncoming lane (if it’s safe) in order to provide that distance and pass in areas where passing is otherwise not allowed. However, the best advice for cyclists is to take as many safety precautions as possible. Where available, cyclists should ride bike paths and trails and avoid heavily traveled roads. Cyclists should always wear helmets and make themselves visible to drivers with lights and/or bright clothing.
While bicycling offers many benefits to riders, an accident can not only put a premature end to what should have been a great day of riding but can result in serious injuries and lifelong disabilities. If you or a loved one are injured in a bicycle accident, contact our office as soon as possible for the legal help you’ll need to recover for your injuries.