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Sixth Philadelphia Bicyclist Dies This Year After Getting Hit by Car

cycling on a bicycle lane in the city

A Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyer discusses this troubling trend

A fatal bicycle accident in Philadelphia recently claimed the life of a 71-year-old cyclist riding in Northeast Philadelphia, according to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. The fatal bicycle crash was the sixth one this year in Philadelphia.

The deadly accident occurred at the intersection of Cottman Avenue and Tabor Avenue in Philadelphia on a recent Thursday. The cyclist was heading north on Tabor Avenue when a driver heading west on Cottman Avenue struck the victim.

According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the driver told police that she did not see the cyclist. The fatal accident remains under investigation by the Philadelphia Police Department’s Accident Investigation Division, which is checking to see if there’s available traffic camera footage and any eyewitnesses.

Why are there so many bicycle accidents in Philadelphia?

Fatal bicycle accidents have increased dramatically in Philadelphia and nationwide in the past few years. In the past decade, the number of bicycle accident fatalities nationwide has increased by 37 percent to 1,089 bicycle fatalities in 2019, according to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council.

The numbers are even worse in Philadelphia. After steady declines in the number of bicycle fatalities in Philadelphia, reaching a low of two deaths in 2019, the number of bicycle accident fatalities soared to six deaths last year and six so far this year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

Common causes of bike crashes

Bicycle accidents happen for many different reasons, but in many cases, fatal crashes occur because a driver was not paying attention or was otherwise being negligent.

Specific reasons why bicycle accidents happen include:

  • A driver or passenger opens the car door without looking and hits a passing cyclist, a type of accident known as “dooring.”
  • A driver turns at an intersection or pulls out into traffic without looking, striking a passing cyclist.
  • A speeding driver doesn’t have enough time to slow down and avoid a collision with a cyclist.
  • An aggressive driver who does not share the road with a cyclist riding alongside the shoulder of the road.
  • A distracted driver not paying attention or texting while driving.
  • Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Certain places and times of day can be more dangerous for cyclists as well, according to the NHTSA. Specifically, bicycle accidents most often occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. In addition, the vast majority (78 percent) of bicycle accidents occur in urban areas versus rural areas. Wherever or whenever your accident happened, make sure you fully understand your legal rights. Make sure you talk to an attorney who can explain all the legal options available to you.

Find out how an attorney can help

If you were hit by a car while riding your bike, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses.

At The Hanamirian Firm, PC, our Philadelphia bicycle accident attorneys have years of experience handling complicated legal cases and dealing with insurance companies. Our law firm was founded in 1985. Since then, we have been vigorously fighting for the rights of accident victims and their families. We know what evidence to look for and how to build the strongest possible legal case.

Put the power of a dedicated legal team to work for you and let us fight for the compensation you're entitled to. Contact us to schedule your free case evaluation today. Our office is located on Walnut Street in downtown Philadelphia.

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