October 7, 2019
As Amazon begins their plans for HQ2 construction, a local sustainability group is bringing attention to the potential downsides of the construction. Any increase in jobs results in an increase of commuters to the area—and Sustainable Mobility is urging Amazon to do their part to keep Arlington green by adding or upgrading bike lanes in the area.
The company recently pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2040, so green practices will likely crop up on their campuses and fulfillment centers around the world. The question of whether they’ll support employee efforts to reduce their own impact remains to be seen.
Should We Be Worried About Bicycle Accidents?
Just looking at the stats shows that bicycle accident rates fell between 2016 and 2017—but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. The percentage of fatal bike accidents has risen across the US; 783 Americans died due to bike accidents in 2017. Trends suggest that measures like the ones suggested by Sustainable Mobility could make a big difference. Analysis shows that:
- Nearly 70% of bicycle accidents happen in urban areas
- Most fatal bike accidents that take place on weekdays happen between 6 and 9 p.m.—when commuters might be heading home after a long day of work
- Cities that have seen an increase in bicyclists, but no infrastructural changes to ensure safety, are much more dangerous than those that have added bike lanes and other helpful features
On average, bikers involved in urban accidents face more serious injuries than those in rural areas. When cars and bikes come into close quarters with one another, they often collide—and the cars almost always win.
The Dangers of Bike Accidents
It’s been proven time and again that wearing helmets can help protect bicyclists from fatal injury, and doing so can cut the risk of head injuries by 1/3—but cutting the risk of head or brain injury doesn’t protect against shoulder, arm, wrist, hip, or leg injuries (bikers less commonly suffer injuries to their chest, abdomen, or back). Likewise, though helmets help prevent fatalities, bikers may still need extensive treatment after an accident. A study of Finnish bikers found 3 out of 10 injured bikers were hospitalized; those who received outpatient care likely incurred fewer costs, but many still had to visit specialists or attend physical therapy to achieve full recovery.
In bicycle accidents that involve cars, bikers are likely to suffer serious injury, including:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Sprains or strains
- Deep lacerations that may become infected
- Other brain injury
Bike accident injuries can be just as expensive as those sustained in car collisions. In fact, the CDC estimated that in 2010, non-fatal bicycle accidents ran up a bill of $10 billion when considering continued medical costs and missed work.
Finding a Lawyer After a Bicycle Accident
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, you’re facing a lengthy process just to receive compensation for damage to your ride, reimbursement for doctor’s bills, and consideration of lost wages and future medical expenses.
As Amazon HQ2 begins to hire, Arlington will see many more commuters—and those on foot, bike, or scooter may be at risk unless Amazon builds with pedestrian and biker safety in mind. Our experienced team at the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC is here to help you in the aftermath of a bicycle accident.
Questions about a bicycle accident? Call our office at (703) 647-4113 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.