Motorists often times turn a blind eye to the many cyclists that legally share the roads with them. Because of this, there are too many tragic deaths and serious injuries due to the negligence of inattentive drivers.
Riding a bicycle in Michigan may be scary at times, especially when crossing a main road or riding at night. In 2009, 630 bicyclists died on US roads and represent 2% of all traffic fatalities for that year, and 51,000 additional cyclists were injured. Furthermore, listed below are additional bicycle statistics based off data collected from 2005 to 2010 compiled by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
If a loved one has been killed while riding their bicycle, you need attorneys with experience handling bicyclist claims. Unfortunately, many people simply do not understand that rules of the road and that Michigan motorists have an affirmative duty to share the road peacefully with those riding bicycles. Many prospective jury members will have had a negative run in with irresponsible bicyclists who are not following the rules of the road themselves. However, with the proper attorney and proper education of the jury pool, a very compelling case can be presented that the driver was negligent in causing the death of your loved one while riding their bike.
Michigan Children on Bikes Are Too Often Victims
Michigan Children (ages 5-15) involvement in bicycle crashes is higher than national statistics: 32.4% compared to 26.8%. Thus, nearly one-third of this age group in Michigan is involved in a bicycle crash, and one-fourth of those (25.3%) are fatal/serious! These should be shocking statistics. Any time a family loses a child it is a tragedy. However, if the tragedy could have been prevented and a death was caused by the negligence of a Michigan driver, they must be held accountable for their actions. The only way to do this is to file a Michigan wrongful death claim in the court system. The child that was killed may leave behind siblings that can be provided for financially. It can by no means bring a loved one back, but a strong message could be sent to other drivers that they need to respect those on bicycles and treat them with a great deal of caution..especially children.
Michigan Bicycle Statistics You Need to Know!
Here are some more statistics that you may not have known about bicycle accidents in Michigan:
- Men are involved in 81% of all fatal bicycle crashes in Michigan.
- Bicycle crash locations are nearly evenly split between intersections and non-intersections (49% to 51%).
- Despite the perceived safety of a signalized intersection, almost half of all fatal and serious injury bicycle accidents (48.9%) took place at signalized intersections. This is an interesting fact in that an experienced wrongful death attorney will need to essentially prove that the bicyclist was obeying the same traffic laws as the automobiles. How many times have you seen a bicyclist blow right through the red light thinking that they can get ahead of traffic? This bias MUST be overcome through good legal preparation and presentation.
- More than half of all fatal/serious injury bicycle accidents took place on two-lane roads (56.6%), followed by five-lane (13.8%); four-lane (12.9%) and three-lane (9.7%).
- Together, 25 and 30 mph streets (neighborhood and downtown streets) accounted for 75.5% of all bicycle crashes, but the majority of fatal bicycle crashes took place on streets/roads with a speed limit of 45 mph or greater even though they comprised only 19% of the crashes. This is an important statistic to remember when pursuing a wrongful death case. The neighborhood and downtown streets have the majority of accidents, yet fatal bicycle crashes had a 45 mph speed limit or greater. This increases the likelihood that accident reconstruction needs to be consulted to find out how increased speeds may have impacted and/or contributed to the death of the cyclist.
- Between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., 27.2% of fatal and serious bicycle crashes took place, followed by 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (21.8%); and 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (18.5%).
- Alcohol was involved for the motorist or bicyclist in 30% of the fatal and serious injury crashes. Our law firm is seeing an increase in actions involving alcohol that cause death. There are dramshop actions that may be able to be brought against bars for improperly serving an intoxicated individual. Please see our detailed description of these cases if you think a loved one was killed due to an intoxicated driver.
We Need to Know Everything About The Victim’s Riding Habits
Any time a family member has been killed by the negligence of a Michigan driver, it is imperative to investigate everything about how the victim handled his or her own bicycle safety. This will require friends, family members and possibly biking companions to provide as much information as possible to avoid later claims that there may have been contributory negligence that may lessen the wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.
At a minimum, we may as the following questions:
- Was the victim wearing a properly fitted helmet? Wearing a helmet can prevent 85% of brain injuries and will be used by the insurance company to deny bicycle claims.
- What kind of clothing was the victim wearing? Light colored and/or reflective clothing can help to make you more visible to cars and other motor vehicles, especially at night.
- Were the tires properly inflated and checked on a regular basis? Blow outs and flat tires can cause an bicyclist to unintentionally swerve into oncoming traffic.
- Did the bike have a front headlight and a red rear reflector or back light.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a Michigan bicycle accident, contact an attorney immediately to learn your rights. represent clients under our NO FEE promise and have been winning victims of bicycle accidents the highest possible settlements for years.