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Published On: Mon, Jun 17th, 2019

Bicycle Accidents Leave Two Nevada Riders in Critical Condition

On June 12, a critical crash involving a woman riding a bicycle and an SUV in Las Vegas, shortly passed 3:30pm. The woman was transported to the hospital in extremely critical condition. Exactly one month earlier, on May 12, a bicyclist riding on Bowers Mansion Road in Reno, Nevada was hit by a pickup truck and listed to be hospitalized in critical condition, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol report.

Much like accidents between pedestrians and vehicles, accidents involving a bicycle and motor vehicle often lead to serious injury and fatalities, more so than between accidents occurring between two vehicles. This occurs simply because of the discrepancy in protection afforded to the passenger in the vehicle and the rider, as well as the significant differences in size and mass between the motor vehicle and bicycle. While the motorist is rarely injured beyond minor bruising, the cyclist who is not killed may require extended medical care and rehabilitation, according to David Boehrer Law Firm.

Although Reno and other Nevada locales are considered bicycle-friendly, accidents still occur and are increasing. Reno in a city with a varied array of bike paths and lanes on many streets, many of which were installed starting in 2010 as part of a downtown Reno makeover initiative with more designated bike lanes planned for the future. Nevertheless, there has been a significant increase from year to year in the state as a whole.

Across the country, a report by the CDC reveals that in 2013 900 bicycle-riders were killed in accidents and over 490,000 were injured severely enough to be transported to the hospital. Two years later, in 2015, the numbers had risen to 1,000 killed. The CDC estimates that lifetime healthcare costs and loss of productivity resulting from these accidents is near $10 billion.

In Nevada, accidents involving bicycles are even higher than the national average according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There were 2.5 deaths per one million Nevada residents due to bicycle accidents in 2013, which exceeded the national average of 2.35 deaths per million people. In 2014, there were eight fatalities in bicycle accidents in Nevada while in 2015 the numbers jumped to 10 deaths.

In terms of prevention of injuries and fatalities, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) notes that although 40% of adult bicyclists and 45% of children suffer head injuries in the event of a bicycle accident, and that 75% of fatalities stem from serious jury to the head, only 60% of bicycle riders actually wear protective helmets. Helmets have been shown to decrease injuries by at least half.

Author: Jacob Maslow

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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