Residents and visitors alike enjoy Arizona for its optimal year round weather and natural attractions. Whether on foot or by bike, people take to the road to enjoy the beauty the state has to offer. With this in mind, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has taken important steps to enhance the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on the road.
Arizona is, unfortunately, one of the most lethal states for cyclists. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Program aims to change this fact and to encourage alternate transportation in a state that is perfect for year-round cycling and walking.
The program aims for a 12 percent decrease in bicycle crashes by 2018. The program also plans to collect better data on just how many cyclists are on the roads and encourage safety improvements on roads with the most riders. ADOT has found five factors that contribute to bike crashes in Arizona:
· Half of the crashes happen when a cyclist is riding counter to traffic
· Half of the crashes happen when a vehicle turns right
· Half of the crashes happen when a vehicle does not yield to a cyclist
· Less than a quarter of crashes occur around nighttime
· Bicycles riding on sidewalks account for one third of crashes
In 2011, cycling deaths reached a total of 19, with 1,500 other bicyclists injured. The ADOT's plan makes specific recommendations to improve the safety of bicyclists:
· Equip bike lanes with "wrong way" signs
· Encourage state laws requiring taillights for nighttime riding
· Clarification of sidewalk rules
· Implement four foot wide shoulders on highway projects
· Encourage better enforcement of bicycle safety laws
Serious injuries can result from bicycle crashes. It is important that cyclists injured in accidents involving motorists seek the compensation that they are entitled to, as medical bills related to these injuries can be both costly and long-term. If you or a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney today to explore your legal options.