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New Study Says Bicycle Injury Costs Increasing by Hundreds of Millions Each Year

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jun 12, 2017 in Bicycle Accidents

bicycle crashFor many people in Connecticut and across the nation, bicycling has become more than just a leisure activity. More people are using their bikes to transport themselves to work and to places they used to drive to in their cars.

Unfortunately, a new study reveals that the increase in bicycling has also led to more bicycle accidents, resulting in injuries and deaths.   

Between 1997 and 2013, the number of non-fatal injuries from bicycle accidents and the medical costs of those injuries increased by wide margins, according to research published in the journal Injury Prevention.

There were 3.8 million non-fatal injuries during the study period, while the number of bicycle-related injuries increased by about 6,500 each year. There were also nearly 10,000 bicycle-related deaths during this period.

The cost of injuries during the 16-year study increased from $9.3 billion in 1997 to $22.4 billion in 2013, an approximate $789 million growth each year. The total cost of bicycle-related injuries at the end of the study was $209 billion, and $28 billion for bicycle-related deaths.

Medical costs from bicycle injuries include hospital bills, rehabilitation, missed time from work, lower quality of life, nursing home stays and emergency transportation.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, our Watertown bicycle accident attorneys may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation. Schedule a free consultation today.

Additional Findings from the Study

The main reason for the rising costs of bicycle injuries is that there has been an increase in the percentage of injuries that occur on the street. In 1997, 46 percent of bicycle injuries occurred on the street. By 2014, this increased to 67 percent.

Injuries that occur on the street are costlier because they are typically more severe than injuries that occur on other surfaces. The reason these injuries are more severe is that bicycles travel faster on the street, which increases the velocity of the crash impact, according to the study.

Riding on the street may increase the risk of an injury because many streets where people ride bicycles are located in urban areas with "street furniture" such as fire hydrants, telephone poles and parking meters.

Costs Increased for Older Riders

Researchers also found that medical costs for bicycle riders 45 years and older increased by nearly 30 percent during the study period.

In 1997, 26 percent of total medical costs for bicycle injuries were attributed to riders who were 45 years or older, while that figure increased to 54 percent in 2013.

This coincides with an increase in annual bicycle miles traveled by people in this age population. The number of miles increased from 1.9 trillion in 2001 to 3.6 trillion in 2009.  

Study Highlights Need for More Bicycle Infrastructure

One of the takeaways from the study is that the increase in bicycling should be accompanied by building safer infrastructure for cyclists, such as cycle tracks and improved street lighting.

The cost to build bicycling infrastructure in one-sixth of the nation would be the same as the cost of bicycle injuries in 10 years, according to the senior author of the study.

Contact D'Amico & Pettinicchi Today

Many bicycle accidents are caused by the negligence of drivers who are supposed to share the road.

Our experienced attorneys know how to determine liability for a bicycle accident. If someone else was at fault, we are prepared to pursue a claim to recover fair compensation.

We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no cost for your initial consultation and you will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.

Call (866) 848-7077 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form.