Coronavirus Pandemic Leads to National Bike Shortage
The ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to have varied effects on nearly every aspect of daily life. Some of the consequences have not been as obvious or predictable. Business closures, limitations on travel, and fears over the dangers of buses and subways have led to a massive surge in hopeful bike riders around the country, which in turn has caused a national shortage in bicycles available for purchase. The unprecedented bike sales, in turn, raises concerns that injurious and fatal bike accidents are soon to be on the rise. With more bikes on the road, especially with less experienced riders and erratic drivers, the likelihood of more severe bike accidents should not be taken lightly. If you or your loved one has been injured in a bike accident in Vancouver, Portland, or anywhere throughout Oregon or Washington, reach out to a dedicated traffic accident lawyer for help.
National Bike Shortage Raises Bike Accident Concerns
According to the New York Times and other sources, bike sales have skyrocketed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. By March, nationwide sales of bicycles, equipment, and repair services had doubled when compared to the same period last year. By the end of April, many bike stores had sold out across the country. More bikes on the road mean a higher risk of serious bike crashes. There are more novice bike riders on the roads, and other motorists are not well-equipped to adjust to the sudden surge in bike traffic.
Bike accidents are more common, and more dangerous, than many folks realize. In 2017, 771 bicyclists and pedestrians were seriously injured or killed in traffic accidents across the State of Oregon. In Washington State, according to the Department of Transportation, there were 13 fatal bike crashes and 1,130 injury bike crashes in 2017. Over a third of the accidents, injuries, and fatalities in bike accidents in Washington occurred in King County. While Washington has been rated as one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the country, over 1,000 injury crashes are nothing to take lightly.
Additionally, the rates of fatal bike accidents in both Oregon and Washington are higher than the national average. While 2.2 percent of national traffic fatalities involve bicyclists, 2.7 of traffic fatalities in Washington State are bicyclists, and three percent of traffic fatalities in Oregon are bicyclists.
Bicycle accidents are also especially dangerous to the victims. Bicyclists are directly exposed to the hazards on the roads. While helmets are necessary and encouraged, they are not sufficient to prevent all injuries caused by negligent drivers. As the coronavirus pandemic drives up the number of bike riders across the country, it is more important than ever to take bike safety seriously and hold negligent drivers responsible for any injuries they cause to cyclists and pedestrians.
Call Vancouver Attorney John Lutgens for Help After a Traffic Accident in Oregon or Washington State
For seasoned and practical legal advice and representation concerning a bike accident or other car crash injury claim in Portland, Vancouver, or elsewhere throughout Oregon and Washington, contact Vancouver car crash lawyer John Lutgens for a consultation at 360-693-2119.