According to a recent news report, although traffic has decreased with the COVID-19 pandemic and the issuance of stay-at-home orders, bicyclists’ deaths remain high. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, there were 857 bicyclists’ deaths in 2018, making it the year with the highest number of bicyclists’ deaths since 1990. That number remained high in 2019, with 846 bicyclists’ deaths. Although there was a substantial decrease in 2020, with 697 bicyclists’ deaths, the number was shockingly high considering the stay-at-home orders and decreased traffic. According to the Maryland Highway Safety Office, concerning Maryland bicyclist crashes, there was an average of 816 Maryland bicycle and pedalcycle-involved crashes in recent years. Bicycle crashes are especially common in urban areas, with 86 percent of total Maryland bicycle crashes occurring in urban areas in recent years.
Bicycle sales have soared in 2020, which means that there are more cyclists on the road. Other factors contributing to the high number of bicyclists’ deaths include high-speed limits, distracted drivers, and poorly designed roads, according to BikeMaps.org and Outside magazine. Those sources found arterial roads to be the most dangerous, which are defined as busy, multilane streets with traffic signals at the intersections and speed limits above 30 miles per hour. They found that arterial roads made up 65 percent of bicyclist deaths in 2020.
If your loved one has been in a Maryland bicycle accident you may be able to recover compensation from a driver or another person or entity at fault for the crash. Maryland’s Wrongful Death Act (the Act), allows certain family members to file a claim against parties that caused the decedent’s death. The Act was enacted as a way to compensate family members of the decedent based on their losses.