We will start with the good news. That news is that total traffic fatalities are continuing to fall, and the number of roadway deaths last year has dropped to the lowest level since 1949. That means overall our roads are getting safer; we have more safety regulations and amped up enforcement in areas such as driving under the influence and driving without a seatbelt, and are doing everything we can to eliminate unnecessary dangers behind the wheel.
However, the bad news is according to federal safety officials, fatalities for bicyclists and occupants of large trucks have risen sharply since last year. Bicyclist deaths jumped nearly 9 percent, while deaths involving large trucks increased a staggering 20 percent. A deputy executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association commented that this increase in bicycle deaths is most likely a reflection of the fact that more people are riding bikes to work and for pleasure in the United States than in previous years. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Urban areas under study, reported a 175 percent increase in bicyclists during their early morning and evening rush hours since 2004, and many urban areas have had to increase their bike-lane networks in previous years to keep up with this trend. “Our culture is beginning to move away from driving and toward healthier and greener modes of transportation,” said the deputy executive. “We need to be able to accommodate all these forms of transportation safely.”
However, when asked about the increase in fatalities associated with large-trucks, officials were more puzzled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently working in coalition with the Federal Motor Carrier Administration to gather more information in order to better understand possible reasons and find out how we can take more preventative measures. (Washington Post)
Pedestrian accidents and trucking accidents are something very familiar to our team of lawyers at Levin & Perconti. We have fought and won multiple cases involving public transportation vehicles striking pedestrians, and have had our fair share of truck accident cases as well. Whether you are struck by a vehicle while riding your bike, or you are blind-sided by a large truck driver, you are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to size. Accidents of this nature can leave victims badly injured and with no safety net to fall back on.
Our lawyers recently secured a $1.25 million settlement for a 77-year-old woman whose leg had to be amputated after being hit by a CTA bus. The money that our client received allowed her to pay her necessary medical bills, and prepared her for living with her disability in the future.