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Cycling in Utah?

Utah’s Most Dangerous Cycling Season

 

Summer means Utah’s temperatures are on the rise—and so is the rate of Utah’s bicycling accidents. According to 2020 statistics, Utah’s roads are extremely dangerous for cyclists in the summer: over 62% of Utah’s fatal bicycle accidents occurred in May through July. Overall, the Utah Department of Public Safety estimates that bicycling accidents account for 3% of Utah’s fatal accidents. The injuries resulting from bicycling accidents are often catastrophic and life-changing. 

Right-of-Way Confusion Is Causing Numerous Accidents: 

Just recently, a cyclist in Summit County was killed when a vehicle failed to yield the right of way. The cyclist’s right of way seems to be something a lot of Utahns don’t understand: over 40% of cycling accidents in 2020 were caused by the driver failing to yield the right of way. During the summer months, it is imperative that drivers take extra care in looking out for cyclists since most cycling accidents happened when a vehicle turned directly into a cyclist’s path. It is crucial for cyclists and motorists alike to understand that bicycles are in fact classified the same way motor vehicles are. This means cyclists are subject to the many of the same right of way rules motorists must follow. 

Downtown Areas Are Dangerous:

Busy downtown areas are the most dangerous places for Utah’s cyclists. Nationwide, most accidents occur in Urban areas; a 2019 study showed 78% of America’s cycling accidents occurred in busy cities. Utah seems to mirror this trend; most of Utah’s cycling accidents happened in Salt Lake County, followed by Utah County. A key reason for this is that cyclists can be difficult to spot amidst the traffic in a busy city. Also, not every street has designated lanes for cyclists. In fact, many of the cycling accidents in Downtown Salt Lake City occured on streets without cycling lanes. Additionally, confusion over right of way rules regarding cyclists has also contributed to the high rate of accidents in Urban areas.

Head Injuries Are a Common Side Effect:

Head injuries are the most common injury in cycling accidents, and they account for a shocking 60% of fatalities. With school out for the summer, bicycle safety is more important than ever. Last year, nearly 35% of bicycle accidents involved cyclists under 20 years old.  And, according to statistics from the Utah Department of Public Safety, Utah’s kids need to be more diligent in wearing helmets. It has been estimated that only 23% of elementary school aged children are wearing helmets, and only 14% of children in secondary school wear helmets. Although helmets can be uncomfortable, the New England Journal of Medicine theorizes that wearing a helmet could reduce the risk of head injury by 85%.

When a Cycling Accident Impacts Your Life:

Statistically speaking, injuries resulting from cycling accidents are typically severe and life-altering. This summer, many cyclists will find themselves critically injured by uninformed drivers who failed to yield the right of way, or careless, distracted drivers. Cycling accidents can cause an untold amount of pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a cycling accident, Moxie Law Group can offer support. We focus on representing you so that you can focus on getting back to your summer hobbies.