Walking and bicycling have become more popular recently as a result of health awareness and the benefit of exercise. Unfortunately,walking and bicycling injuries and deaths occur ever day and are on the increase. 49,000 bicyclists were injured and 726 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012. Most injuries to a bicyclist are to th head, although injuries to the arms, legs and spine are also prominent. For obvious reasons, the summer months of June through September show the highest number of injuries and fatalities.
Most bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas and at non-intersections. Surprisingly, the average age of a bicyclist killed during the past decade has increased from 36 to 43 years and the average age injured over the decade changed from 27 to 32. Males are the overwhelmingly majority of both injury and death statistics. However, most nonfatal injuries occur to children and adolescents, resulting in thousands of ER visits. The involvement of alcohol by either the driver of a car or the bicyclist is a factor in over 30% of all accidents.
Similarly, 4,743 pedestrians were killed and 76,00 were injured in pedestrian traffic accidents in 2012. Again males accounted for over two-thirds of pedestrians killed. Alcohol involvement of the driver or pedestrian was a factor in 48% of fatal incidents. Injuries to the head are dominant in pedestrian accidents due to concussions and the most common site of serious injury was to the leg. Injuries to all regions of the body increase with the age of the victim and with the weight of the vehicle involved.
Of course not all bicycle or pedestrian accidents are caused by the driver of the motor vehicle. The driver, the bicyclist and the pedestrian must adhere to the traffic laws of the particular state or municipality. An experienced attorney is required to investigate the actual cause of such accidents and to pursue a pedestrian or bicycle accident and the resulting injuries to the person. The Law Offices of John P. Zanelotti, P.C., located in both Laurel Metro area and on the Eastern Shore in Ocean Pines would be honored to represent you or your family member who may have been injured as a result of the negligent actions of a driver of a motor vehicle.