Although cold temperatures mean fewer pedestrians and bikers are out and about this time of year, drivers should still remain vigilant when traveling. Drivers, however, should not entirely dismiss the possibility of pedestrians or cyclists just because of colder weather. In fact, these cooler months call for more vigilance from both pedestrians and drivers alike. Winter weather often means shorter days, lower visibility, and poorer weather conditions—all of which can contribute to increasing the possibility that an accident takes place.
According to a recent news report, a 13-year-old boy died after a truck hit him while he was on his bicycle. Local authorities reported that around 7pm, the driver of the truck was driving east past an intersection when the front of his truck crashed into the back of the child’s bicycle. According to witness reports, when the accident took place, the driver was trying to avoid the child’s friend, who was also riding a bicycle, but failed to do so and struck the 13-year-old boy instead. When law enforcement arrived on the scene, they noted that it was likely the crash was an accident, given low visibility and the limited shoulder along the road. The accident remains under investigation.
How Many Fatal Bicycle Accidents Are There Each Year?
Based on national statistics, the number of preventable deaths from bicycle transportation incidents has increased significantly over the last few years. In the last decade, rates of bicycle deaths from motor accidents increased 37 percent, from 793 deaths in 2010 to 1,089 in 2019. Steady increases have been taking place every year also, with the highest number of deaths taking place annually in warmer months when more bikers and pedestrians are out and about.
Lower numbers of bicycle accident deaths in colder months, however, should not mean that drivers or pedestrians become complacent. After all, unexpected dangers are always around the corner and there are various additional steps both drivers and pedestrians can take to increase safety.
For pedestrians and bicyclists, biking with a helmet and other protective gear could save your life in the event of an accident. Wearing clothing that is neon or reflective could also increase your visibility while biking or walking. If traveling at night, making sure that your bike is equipped with a proper headlight or other flashing lights could make it easier for drivers to see you and for you to indicate when you plan to make a turn or change lanes.
For drivers, taking extra care to check for bikers and pedestrians before making turns is crucial. At intersections, where accidents most frequently take place between pedestrians and drivers, this is especially important. If you are traveling during low visibility periods such as nighttime or in poor weather conditions, check your blind spots and slow down your speeds so that you can proactively prevent any accidents from taking place.
Do You Need a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or someone you know was recently injured in a Maryland bicycle or motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our lawyers have years of experience fighting for the injured and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.