People have been desperate to get outside amidst the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. One positive development of this situation is a growing passion for cycling. Whether to get exercise or take a break from sheltering in place, many people throughout Victoria have been taking to their bikes.
Unfortunately, the growth in popularity for cycling has not come without cost. In 2020, bicycle accident fatalities grew 27 percent from the preceding year.
As an experienced injury lawyer and an avid cyclist, Henry Carus has a unique understanding of the dangers bicyclists face in Melbourne and other areas of VIC. Contact our bicycle accident lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation if you have been injured or lost a loved one while cycling.
Bicycle Accident Statistics: 2019 vs. 2020
According to statistics from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), 11 cyclists lost their lives in accidents in 2019. Five of these deaths happened right here in Melbourne, while the rest occurred in rural Victoria.
Other key characteristics reported by the TAC for these bicycle accidents include:
- Age range: Cyclists aged 18 to 20 and 50 to 59 saw the highest rate of fatalities (two each). Tragically, two minors (one aged 5 to 15 years old, the other aged 16 to 17 years old) died in bicycle accidents.
- Crash type: The leading types of bicycle accidents were adjacent direction crashes (i.e., accidents involving cross traffic or turning vehicles) and same direction crashes. These types of accidents each resulted in four bicyclist fatalities.
- Date and time: By far the deadliest day of the week for bicycle accidents in 2019 was Thursday. Four cyclists died on Thursdays in 2019. The deadliest times to ride were 06:00 to 07:59, 12:00 to 13:59, and 16:00 to 17:59 (corresponding roughly to morning commute, workday lunchtime, and evening commute).
- Gender: Males were at a vastly higher risk of death in a bicycle accident than females. Of the 11 cyclists killed in accidents, 10 were male and only one was female.
In 2020, fatalities in bicycle accidents increased to 14. Eight cyclists were killed in Melbourne, while six died in accidents in rural Victoria.
Key data reported by the TAC regarding these accidents include:
- Age range: Cyclists aged 40 to 49 and 50 to 59 were at the highest risk of death. Three of the reported fatalities occurred in each of these age groups.
- Crash type: Half of the fatal crashes involved bicyclists travelling in the same direction as other vehicles.
- Date and time: Wednesday was the deadliest day for bicycle accidents in 2020, with five fatalities reported on this day of the week. The deadliest times were 08:00 to 09:59 and 16:00 to 17:59.
- Gender: Four women and 10 men were killed in bicycle accidents in 2020.
Despite the higher number of fatalities, the rate of bicycle accident injuries requiring hospitalisation decreased by 39 percent year over year. From January 2020 to September 2020, the TAC reported 238 accident claims involving bicyclists who required hospitalisation compared to 391 similar claims for the same time period in 2019.
So, although the rate of fatal bicycle accidents rose last year, the number of cyclists who suffered injuries that required them to be admitted to hospital diminished.
The team at Henry Carus + Associates has immense sympathy for those who have been injured or lost loved ones to cycling accidents. We are committed to helping victims obtain the accident benefits and other compensation they deserve.
What Are My Rights After a Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists have the same rights as drivers, the occupants of motor vehicles, and pedestrians in transport accident claims. If you sustained physical and/or psychological injury in a bicycle accident, you are entitled to no-fault accident benefits including:
- Medical expenses and payment for support services
- Income support (potentially including loss of earnings capacity benefit and safety net income benefit)
- Support for return to work
- Impairment benefit (if you suffer a permanent injury that satisfies the statutory threshold for impairment to qualify)
If your loved one was killed in a cycling accident, you are entitled to no-fault death benefits. The TAC provides the following benefits in the event of a transport accident-related fatality:
- Lump sum and ongoing support payments for a dependent spouse and/or children
- Family counselling support
- Support for funeral and burial/cremation expenses
- Travel and accommodation expenses for family members who have to travel for funeral services
Victims of transport accidents may also be able to recover compensation through a common law personal injury claim. To recover common law compensation, you must prove that (a) the bicycle accident was caused by the negligence of another party (i.e., the driver of a vehicle) and (b) you or your loved one suffered serious injury or your loved one died as a result.
Recovering common law damages can be challenging. It is in your best interest to contact a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to explore all of your options for benefits and other compensation.
Get Help with Your Bicycle Accident Claim
Henry Carus + Associates have decades of experience handling TAC accident claims. We understand how frustrating it is to suffer injuries (or, even worse, lose a family member) in an accident and feel unsure where to turn.
At Henry Carus + Associates, we believe that You Deserve More. This mindset informs every aspect of the service we provide our clients, from gathering evidence on your behalf to exploring your options for compensation to advocating for the full accident benefits and common law damages you deserve.
Please call 03 9001 1318 today for a free, no-obligation consultation with Henry Carus + Associates today. Our bicycle accident lawyers serve clients in Melbourne and throughout Victoria.