Bicycling is fun pastime with a multitude of personal and societal benefits. For example, it is great exercise. It can reduce the number of cars on the road, thereby saving money and reducing the carbon load on the planet. Unfortunately, a recent report states that the dangers cyclists face is on the rise in the state of New Jersey. The 2015 study, “A Right to the Road,” released by the Governors Highway Traffic Safety Association reported that the national tally of that year reached 818, or almost 16 fatalities each week. This represents a dreadful 12.2 percent rise in fatal bicycle accidents vs. prior years.
Even worse, a 2016 report by New Jersey State Police indicates 18 bike fatalities were reported in 2016. And, as bad as that was, data for 2017 suggests this year may be even worse. The latest state fatality figures show nine bicycle fatalities in the first eight months of 2017; that is two (2) more than were reported as of this same time last year. Unfortunately, these data cannot provide us with a clear explanation for this deadly trend.
New Jersey officials have several different plans of action to increase bicycle safety. These measures include: installing cameras to help reduce the number of speeding vehicles and the running of red-lights; establishing “safe-passing” parameters which would given cyclists a cushion of up to three feet from passing vehicles; and, creating a stable state funding source devoted exclusively to bicycle safety. Cyclists and community safety advocates in New Jersey have been pushing for a safe-passing law for years, and with luck that may be on our horizon.
With this shocking number of bike-related fatalities, cyclists in the Garden State should remember that a bicycle is not a toy; it’s essentially a “vehicle” and should be treated as one when riding on the roadways. Further, given their vulnerability to injury in a crash, cyclists should always use precautions while cycling. For example:
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, contact the Princeton bicycle accident lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC. We work tirelessly for your rights. Contact us by calling 609-786-2540 or submit an online inquiry. We proudly represent clients throughout New Jersey.