A recent report has identified the most dangerous road in Austin for bicyclists: Guadalupe from Cesar Chavez to North Lamar Boulevard. As reported by KVUE ABC, the report looked at the most dangerous areas for bicyclists in cities of over 500,000 people. The five-mile stretch on Guadalupe is certainly busy, as it serves students at the University and Downtown Austin.
There is some irony in this stretch of Guadalupe being the most dangerous, since bikers have identified a different portion of Guadalupe, running from 24th Street and Martin Luther King, as being particularly safe. However, this section has protected bike lanes, which the other parts of Guadalupe do not.
Hit-and-Runs on the Rise
According to AAA, hit-and-run crashes hit a record high in 2016, the most recent year for which complete data is available. As reported by CBS News, 2016 saw 1,980 deadly hit-and-run collisions, which claimed 2,049 lives. These numbers represent a 60% increase from 2009. Even more alarming for cyclists, pedestrians and cyclists were 65% of those killed in these hit-and-runs.
AAA speculates that more people are walking and biking to work but that cities have not taken the necessary measures to increase their safety. In particular, cities have not created divided areas for a bike lane that is protected from motor vehicle traffic.
Unfortunately, laws against fleeing the scene have not stopped hit-and-runs from occurring. Cities like Austin will need to take greater strides to protect their bicyclists from deadly crashes. Fortunately, Austin plans to upgrade a section of Guadalupe that is particularly dangerous, so cyclists might soon feel safer on the road.
Defensive Biking Skills
All cyclists should practice common-sense defensive cycling skills to reduce the risk of a deadly crash. Remember the following safety tips:
- Pay close attention to lane markers so that you don’t inadvertently drift into another lane.
- Ride close to the curb. This gives you enough of a cushion to avoid being hit when a car drifts into your lane.
- Stop at all stop signs and red lights. Just because you are on a bicycle, you can’t run lights.
- Ride with traffic.
- Use turn signals. If you don’t know them, then learn them as soon as possible. You need to give motorists notice of when you are stopping and turning.
- Wear a helmet that fits you.
- Check your bicycle’s tires and brakes before heading off on your journey.
You should also make sure to stand out in traffic. Often, drivers simply don’t see cyclists because they are not looking for them. You can increase your visibility by doing the following:
- Install a light on the front of your bike.
- Use a red light or red reflector on the back of your bicycle.
- Wear reflective clothing or bright colors.
Contact an Austin Bicycle Accident Lawyer if You Have Been Injured
Injured cyclists need compensation to help them cover medical expenses and lost wages. Unfortunately, too many lawyers have never handled these types of cases, which require knowledge of the unique hazards bicyclists face. To find an experienced bicycle accident attorney, contact DC Law today. We offer prospective clients a free consultation if they call (512) 220-1800.