Could Maryland Bicycle-Car Accidents Rise Due to Economic Pressures?

Two Maryland bicyclists were injured on the morning of Friday, May 15, when a driver opened the door of his parked car directly into the path of the oncoming riders. According to police, the incident occurred on Main Street in Annapolis. One rider was taken immediately to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, while the other cyclist was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center. There was no information on whether either had suffered serious bodily injury or brain trauma as a result of the crash.

The irony of this particular accident is that it happened at the very start of the region’s “Bike To Work Day.” But it also makes us wonder if this could be the beginning of an increasing trend in car-bicycle accidents.

As Maryland Car Accident Attorneys, we get our share of clients who have been involved in automobile-bicycle accidents. While less common than car-to-car collisions, the results — at least for the bike rider — are usually much more serious, due to less “armor” surrounding the cyclist. Broken bones, severe lacerations and traumatic brain injuries — sometimes even death — can result depending on the conditions.

Only time will tell if this latest accident points to a trend, but with the warmer months coming, more an more commuters may be climbing on their peddle-powered transportation to get to work, school or the grocery store. With the economy still in a downturn, a bicycle offers not only a healthy way to travel, but also a very cheap alternative to owning and driving a car, at least for short trips.

In Baltimore and the surrounding area, more than 1,000 people registered for the region’s annual Bike To Work Day — 20 percent more than last year — and many of them were first-timers, according to event organizers. News reports told of riders who met at City Hall for a rally in the morning to mark the day. Those people, said a Baltimore Sun article, feel the city has made progress in marking lanes and installing bike racks. The riders credit Mayor Sheila Dixon, who rides two or three days a week, with starting the transition away from an all-car culture.

Nevertheless, a balance must be struck between safety and economy. A healthy bicycle ride is no bargain if a severe or fatal accident is waiting just around the next bend. If you or a family member has been injured in an automotive-related accident, we recommend you retain professional representation so that your rights can be protected. Lebowitz-Mzhen, LLC, is prepared to help you with your case. Please contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.

2 bicyclists hospitalized after accident in Annapolis, BaltimoreSun.com, May15, 2009
Bike to Work Day attracts record number of riders, BaltimoreSun.com, May 15, 2009

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