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Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents on the Rise due to COVID-19

Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents on the Rise due to COVID-19 - Sand Law LLC

Unfortunately, Coronavirus Has Some Expected Consequences

Car accidents, overall, aren’t much of a problem anymore. With many people staying inside and social distancing due to COVID-19, car accidents have been decreasing. However, other accidents have been on the rise. Just as an example, during one week in March, there were 80 bicycle injuries in New York City. That’s 43% more than the same week in 2019. One very plausible explanation for this is the COVID-19 lockdowns which has pushed people to find other ways to get out of the house.

In Minnesota, the traffic volume has dropped by almost half. While traffic volume has dropped by 47%, traffic fatalities are up. The cars that remain on the road aren’t always following regulations, and people are speeding more than usual. While motor vehicle crashes are decreasing in Minnesota, it’s likely that bicyclists and pedestrians aren’t as safe on the roads anymore. Speeding cars and careless driving aren’t good things for a bicyclist. 

Why are more people riding bikes? 

COVID-19 lockdowns began in Minnesota around early March, putting into place certain restrictions like limiting the amount we’re able to interact with each other. Social distancing refers to the act of staying away from one another to prevent the spread of sickness. Because of this, a lot of people have been staying at home.

With work cancelled, and the world self-isolating, there isn’t much to do. Because of that, people have turned to their bicycles. For either business or pleasure, there are more people riding bicycles. 

The Current Stay-at-Home Order

What first started as social distancing has now turned into a “stay-at-home order” which is simply an order put out by the government stating that people should only be leaving their house for the essentials. This includes grocery shopping or working, if you’re an essential employee. When there’s nothing to do at home, biking can be an appealing option. You can leave the house and get some exercise without having to interact with anyone else. 

Common Causes of Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents

Usually, pedestrian and bicycle accidents are caused by a variety of different reasons. At the top of the list is distracted driving or riding. These types of accidents can occur when a driver or cyclist is distracted. They could be looking at their phone or simply not paying attention to what’s going on around them.

Speeding is also a common reason that cyclists get into accidents, especially in cities without proper bicycle lanes. When a car speeds, it can be hard to slow down or maneuver the vehicle safely. Similarly, drivers driving too close to the bicycle lane can also cause accidents. Sometimes the fault of the accident falls on the bicyclist, especially when they aren’t following bicycle traffic laws. In most states, bicycles are required to stay to one side of the road unless turning or avoiding an object. Bicycles who veer into or drive in traffic could be at higher risk for an accident

When it comes to pedestrians, the risks are similar. Distracting driving is a big cause, as well as pedestrians who aren’t paying attention. Not crossing at a crosswalk or not looking both ways before crossing the street can also cause an accident. 

To prevent bicycle and pedestrian accidents, make sure to be aware of your surroundings when you’re walking or riding. Wear a helmet if you’re cycling, and bright/reflective colors if you’re out late at night. If you can manage, staying home is the best option for the time being. If you’re looking for a reason to get out of the house, take a bike ride or a walk around your neighborhood, but remember to be extra safe and cautious. 

Common Injuries from Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents

These days it can be harder, and more dangerous, to have to go to a hospital because of COVID-19. Nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff are working around the clock to make sure hospitals are safe for those being treated for COVID-19 and those who are healthy. However, now is not necessarily the best time to get into an accident. Unfortunately, these things do still happen. Common injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, bruising, or internal injuries. 

Can I still contact a lawyer? 

A lot of businesses are shutting down due to COVID-19, so you may think that you’re unable to get help with your accident. That is simply not the case. Sand Law is still functioning, and we’re ready to take on your pedestrian or bicycle accident case. If you live in Minnesota, please contact us online or by phone at 651-291-7263 for a free case evaluation or for more information.

Sand Law LLC Office in: St. Paul, Minneapolis, White Bear Lake, and Woodbury