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Riding a bike or walking can be hazardous to your health

Wait, aren't biking and walking supposedly good for you? Yes, as far as increasing your health and decreasing your waistline, these are healthy ways to do so. However, unless you only walk or bike in a gym on stationary equipment, it also comes with certain hazards.

Sharing the roads with vehicles that range anywhere from compact cars to semitrailers puts you at a disadvantage. Not only can you not travel as fast as motorized vehicles, but you lack the safety features their occupants enjoy. Then there is the fact that, even if a driver isn't speeding, any impact could cause you serious injuries or death.

Thousands of people die each year

Unfortunately, bicycle riders and pedestrians often have no choice but to come into contact with vehicles. Every year, thousands of people lose their lives in motor vehicle accidents. For instance, in 2015, 35,092 succumbed to injuries in crashes. Of that number, 818 rode bicycles at the time, and 5,376 were on foot. During that year, around 70,000 pedestrians and 45,000 bicycle riders survived but suffered a variety of injuries.

What factors increase your risk as a pedestrian?

Realistically, anyone walking or on a bicycle could be at risk. However, certain factors tend to increase that risk. For instance, consider the following facts about pedestrian accidents:

  • Men made up the largest group of victims at around 70 percent.
  • Alcohol played a role in several crashes with approximately 14 percent of drivers and 34 percent of pedestrians considered legally drunk, which means they had a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or more.
  • Approximately 26 percent of these accidents occurred during the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • No less than 73 percent happened in urban areas.

As you can see, walking may be good for your health but not necessarily for your safety.

What factors increase your risk as a bicycle rider?

You may guess that riding a bicycle presents a greater risk of danger since the odds of being in traffic is higher. You may be right. Consider the following statistics: 

  • In this category, men made up approximately 88 percent of the victims.
  • Alcohol played a role for either the vehicle driver or the bicycle rider in around 35 percent of crashes.
  • The percentage of accidents in urban areas drops to around 71 percent when it comes to bicycle riders.
  • The percentage of crashes during the same evening hours is about 20 percent.

Not surprisingly, the number one cause of injuries and deaths for bicyclists involves other vehicles.

What happens next?

As a victim of a pedestrian or bicycle accident involving a vehicle, you could end up spending weeks or months recovering from your injuries. The aftermath of the accident could change your personal and professional lives in both the short-term and the long-term. Your finances could suffer as well.

You may be able to seek compensation for your injuries under Tennessee law. Enlisting the help of someone who understands the legalities associated with this endeavor could prove invaluable.

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Mr. McKellar was voted by his peers as a “Top Attorney” by Knoxville’s CityView Magazine in its 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 editions. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, Mr. McKellar was selected as a member of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the National Trial Lawyers.

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