Children’s Bicycle Accident Statistics
Bicycle accidents among children are incredibly common for a variety of reasons. Children often ride their bikes around their own neighborhoods, however as they grow up they’re often allowed to branch out further, exploring nearby neighborhoods or even venturing into town. Children may not be equipped with the rules of the road enough to keep themselves safe at all times, they may goof off or make mistakes. It’s the utmost importance of drivers to ensure that they’re driving carefully and keeping a safe distance from children on bicycles, even when in small neighborhoods.
Each year, approximately 100 children are killed and 254,000 are injured because of bicycle related accidents. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital told CBS news that they often saw “cuts, bruises, fractures, scrapes, and then also traumatic brain injuries” from bicycle accidents.
Safety Tips for Biking Children
If you’re a parent with a child who bikes, it’s your responsibility to teach them tips to ensure that they’re safe while not under your supervision. It’s also up to you to decide at what age they’re allowed to bike without your direct supervision, and how far from your house they’re allowed to go. Monitor your child and make an informed decision about what’s safe for them and what’s not.
As far as safety tips go, you should purchase the correct size helmet for your child and make sure that they’re wearing every time they leave the house on their bicycle. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a traumatic brain injury. Teach your child the rules of the road, such as riding with traffic, wearing bright clothing, and keeping as far to the right as possible. If your child is riding around in the neighborhood, make sure they’re keeping an eye and ear on their surroundings. Discourage them from listening to music through earbuds while riding, as it can prevent them from hearing oncoming vehicles.
You should also always ensure that your child’s bicycle is in good working condition, making sure it’s free of rust, that the breaks work properly, and that the tires are full of air. A bike that’s in good condition is a much safer bike than one that’s not.
Your child should always be the only person riding their bicycle, a second person (or more) is never allowed on the bicycle with them. Both hands should remain on the handlebars at all times and any items that need to be held should be in a backpack or basket.
Causes of Child Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can be caused by both drivers and riders, though they’re more often caused by the negligence of a driver. The most common cause of accidents is distracted driving. Bicycles are already harder to spot, so when a driver takes their eyes off the road for even a few seconds, they’re much more likely to miss a bicycle rather than a large vehicle. Bicycle accidents can occur at intersections, crosswalks, bike trail crossings, because of improper lane merging, lane drifting, or in neighborhoods or parking lots.
A driver’s negligence can look like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or generally not paying attention while driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not looking before backing up or switching lanes, impatient driving, and more.
Negligence in Bicycle Accidents
Driver’s owe an increased duty of care when driving around children. When they expect that children may be present, they are required to pay extra close attention to avoid harming the child. This is most common in places frequented by children, like parks and school zones, although drivers should always be on the lookout when in areas with school bus stops, residential areas, trailer parks, and other areas that may have more children.
When children are present, drivers are always held to a higher standard, but in the case of children’s bicycle accidents, a driver may claim that the bicyclist’s negligence played a part in the accident as well. This is called “contributory negligence”. In all states, children under the age of four are incapable of contributory negligence. In Minnesota, children under the age of seven years old are incapable of contributory negligence.
What Damages Can I Receive for my Child’s Injuries?
You can claim both economic and non-economic damages for your child’s injuries. Economic damages will cover any medical bills you may have, and may cover any wages you lost while you were out of work taking care of your child. Non-economic damages cover things like pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement. If your child’s life has been greatly impacted by their injuries, this compensation will be higher. If it will affect their ability to work in the future, you may be able to receive loss of earning capacity compensation.
Should I Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney?
If your child has been injured in a bicycle accident, our experienced attorneys at Sand Law are ready and willing to help you get the compensation that you deserve. Our years of experience will be instrumental in helping you win your case. For more information, or a free case evaluation, please contact us online, through our chat box, or by calling us at 651-291-7263.