Many people ride bicycles as a way to stay fit and healthy, but a new report reveals that North Carolina is one of the deadliest states for bicyclists to ride in. Out of all 50 states, North Carolina ranks at number eight when it comes to the number of people killed in car accidents while riding a bike.
The study was performed by Governing Magazine, using accident data from 2012, the most current year available, when over 700 people were killed while riding bicycles nationwide. In North Carolina, 27 people were killed while cycling. Researchers say that based on those numbers, cycling fatalities are at a three year high.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that between 2008 and 2012, there were almost 5,000 cyclists injured in car accidents. Over 100 cyclists were killed in those accidents, with another 50 victims ending up with long-term disability injuries.
In the past month, three cyclists have been killed in separate accidents in the state. In October, a 57 year-old woman was killed when the bike she was riding was hit by an SUV in Chapel Hill. Also in October, a 52 year-old Durham man died after a bike he was riding was hit by a pick-up truck. And just last week, a 56 year-old Durham man was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he was driving his bicycle on North Roxboro Street near Old Farm Road. Police believe the vehicle that struck him was a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Although riders of bicycles - just like those on motorcycles and mopeds, need to be cautious of cars and trucks on the road - drivers of those vehicles also need to be cognizant that they are sharing the road with cyclists. Our personal injury law firm has represented many victims who were injured by a negligent vehicle driver and suffered serious injuries.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by a negligent driver, contact a dedicated North Carolina wrongful death attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for pain and loss.