American cities are getting deadlier and deadlier for bicyclists and pedestrians alike — while, at the same time, cities are encouraging more people to commute by either foot, bike or public transportation.
There’s a disconnect going on somewhere, and it’s causing unnecessary injuries and fatalities to both bicyclists and pedestrians. What exactly is going on?
There are actually multiple problems in play that are giving rise to the overall struggle between vehicles and cyclists or pedestrians:
- There is a sort of cultural war that’s happening on many city streets. While more people are choosing earth-friendly methods of transportation like bicycles, especially in urban areas, the drivers of passenger cars and other vehicles aren’t yet conscious that they need to share the road.
- Vehicles are often designed in a way that makes it very difficult for drivers to clearly see bicyclists on the road in their blind spots. Even lowering the front of a vehicle’s design can actually make a passenger car less dangerous or threatening for cyclists.
- Distracted drivers are a bigger problem than ever. Whether you blame it on narcissism or the relative novelty of the cellular age, drivers are still texting, talking, looking for directions or otherwise occupied when they should be driving.
- The infrastructures of many cities — even those that bill themselves as friendly to pedestrians and cyclists — are a hodge-podge of bike lanes that go nowhere or end abruptly. That leaves cyclists trying to fend for themselves in dangerous areas.
It’s going to take a concentrated effort to reduce the danger faced by bicyclists and pedestrians on city streets. Cities that hope to bill themselves as ecologically-forward or friendly to cyclists and pedestrians need to start evaluating the changes that have worked in other areas. For example, pedestrian deaths in Norway have declined 37 percent during the same period of time they increased in the United States by 39 percent. That alone says that something can be done — but it isn’t happening here.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you may have the ability to claim compensation for your losses and injuries. An attorney can talk to you and explain your options.