Summer a Season of Heightened Risk for BC Bicyclists

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Our car accidents and ICBC lawyers report that summer season increases risks for British Columbia bicyclists.

If you’re one of the many bicyclists who ride for economic reasons, exercise or pleasure in Vancouver and other areas of British Columbia, you should be concerned as we were about a recent ICBC statement that five cyclists are injured in bicycle accidents every day of the summer in B.C.

670 cyclists to be injured and six to be killed in crashes involving cars from June to September
In total, the ICBC says, we can expect 670 cyclists to be injured and six to be killed in crashes involving cars from June to September.

*Distracted driving and failing to yield the right-of-way are the top contributing factors for drivers involved in crashes with cyclists in B.C.

In its annual report released in April, ICBC said that over the course of a year, there are about 1,400 accidents in B.C.

In its annual report released in April, ICBC said that over the course of a year, there are about 1,400 accidents in B.C. involving a collision between a bicycle and a car, and in every one of them the bicyclist is injured. About 10 times a year, a bicyclist is killed.

The 100 percent injury rate in bicycle-car accidents should come as no surprise. Cyclists of all kinds are incredibly vulnerable in an accident in comparison to motorists who are protected by the body of their vehicles. Nor should we be surprised that more accidents occur in summer, when more bicyclists are on B.C. roads.

What’s interesting, though unexplained by ICBC, is that while slightly less than half of the year’s total bicycle accident injuries occur in summer (670 out of 1,400, or 47.8 percent), 60 percent of a typical year’s fatal accidents are summertime collisions. Perhaps drivers are traveling faster in summer.

Nearly four out of five car crashes involving bicyclists in B.C. happen at intersections, according to Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. And, again as would be expected, most accidents occur in the Lower Mainland: 450 cyclists are injured and three are killed from June through September every year.

Elsewhere in B.C. from June through September every year:

Deaths
On Vancouver Island, on average, 120 cyclists are injured and two are killed.
Deaths
In the Southern Interior, on average, 70 cyclists are injured and two are killed.
Injuries
In the North Central region, on average, 20 cyclists are injured.
Chief Officer Neil Dubord
Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, made suggestions in the summer accident news release about the most important measures cyclists and motorists can take to guard against accidents and injuries.

Cyclists should wear an approved helmet, regardless of how far they’re travelling, he said, noting that this is the law. Drivers should always check for cyclists, especially before turning, opening their vehicle doors or pulling away from the curb.

Information

The ICBC release has additional safety tips for cyclists and motorists, which many of us are familiar with, regardless of our favored mode of transportation. They boil down to: watch out for the other guy; share the road.

If you are a bicyclist who has been hit by a car, it is likely that the accident happened because of the motorist’s negligence, as the ICBC says. And, in such a case, you deserve to recover compensation from the at-fault driver for your medical bills, property damage (to your bike), lost income while you are injured, pain, suffering and more.

Compensation for injuries and loses

To recover the compensation you deserve, you must prove you were not at fault. The Klein Lawyers in Vancouver can help you with this. We investigate and pursue difficult and complicated bicycle claims. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, call Klein today to discuss the legal options available to you.

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