In recent years, there’s been an uptick in the number of bike lanes being installed in urban areas across America. Bicycle safety advocates have long argued that the installation of these lanes would go a long way in reducing bicyclist injuries and deaths. Have they really lived up to the hype and curbed crashes as much as they were supposed to though? It’s hard to tell.
One reason that it’s difficult to determine whether the installation of bike lanes has been helpful in reducing bicyclist injuries or deaths is because data collected fails to adequately capture the full picture.
Many times, incident reports don’t capture what the traffic or weather patterns were at the time of the crash, whether the bicyclist struck something or the bicycle became damaged.
While it makes sense that having a cordoned-off area where a bicyclist can ride would reduce their chances of being struck by cars or colliding with pedestrians or objects, very little research has been done into how they curb crash rates.
Even when bike lanes exist, bicyclists are still vulnerable to being struck by motorists pulling out of driveways or parking lots or motorists who swerve over lines.
Research conducted in Florida has shown that bike lanes that are well-designated and painted green have resulted in more motorists yielding to the right of way of bicyclists. Few other researchers have been willing to commit necessary funding to assess whether certain lane designs are more effective than others, though.
In a state like California, only minors are required to wear helmets while out bike riding. While it can protect your head, there are other ways to protect yourself from other types of injuries. When crashes involve someone getting severely hurt, it can be helpful for you to have a veteran Los Angeles bicycle accidents attorney advocating for you and your interests.