It should come as no surprise that many Portland residents enjoy commuting by bike, particularly when considering the results of a recent study of driving habits across the country. According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute study, Portland, Oregon is the sixth worst place in the country to drive during rush hour. Portland received low scores for long delays and unreliability during rush hour.
Consequently, many people opt to travel by bicycle whenever possible. Unfortunately, despite many benefits of bike travel, there are some inherent risks involved in sharing the road with motor vehicles. If you or a loved one has suffered from a bicylcle accident, call one of our experienced attorneys at 503-233-6507 to get started today or contact us online.
In 2010, there were 317 fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents in Oregon, in total – seven of which were bicyclists, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Across the country, 618 bicyclists lost their lives in traffic accidents that year, with another 52,000 bicyclists sustaining personal injuries due to motor vehicle collisions.
While bicyclist fatalities account for only 2 percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide – and 1.82 percent in Oregon – the risk of severe injury or death when a bicycle accident occurs is high. According to a study conducted in Portland, and discussed in Wired, 18 percent of the 1,000 bicyclists involved in a motor vehicle accident in the study sustained at least one personal injury. In addition, 30 percent of the injured bicyclists required professional medical care.
External airbags could protect Portland bicyclists
Due to the severe risk posed to bicyclists sharing the road with motor vehicles, a Danish company has developed an external airbag for cars. The company conducted tests for a year to determine when and where a collision with a bicyclist or pedestrian is most likely to occur.
The company determined that placing an external airbag at the bottom of the windshield could significantly limit the harm caused by a collision between a car and a bicyclist. The technology uses a camera on the rear-view mirror to determine if a crash is imminent. If the device detects a “high risk” of a crash, the external airbag is deployed.
Thus far, at least one vehicle, a 2013 Volvo, has been released with external airbags. While vehicles with this technology have not yet been released in the United States, the hope is that external airbags will soon be an industry standard for motor vehicles.
If you have suffered a personal injury or have lost a loved one due to a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation. Consulting with a skilled, Portland personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected. Contact us online or call 503-233-6507.