While the colder weather beginning to move into Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota is likely prompting some residents to put their bicycles into storage for winter, there are others who will continue to use them year round. Many of these individuals use them to commute to their jobs. According to a report recently issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association those individuals may have something to do with the increase in bicyclists dying on roads throughout the nation. Between the years of 2010 and 2012 that number increased 16 percent.

The study found that bicycle accident fatalities most often occur in urban areas. In 2012, 69 percent of all bicycle accident deaths occurred in those locations. Commuting is believed to be connected to that number since the 2013 Census Bureau indicates that since 2000, the number of commuters increased by 62 percent.

There are a couple of factors that were identified in the study as contributing to those deaths. These include the lack of helmet use by bicyclists and blood alcohol concentrations of at least .08 percent.

When a bicyclist is killed in a motor vehicle crash, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, it is possible that his or her loved ones could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver responsible for the crash. While there is nothing that can be done to bring back the person who was lost, financial compensation sometimes makes the loss easier to deal with. In these situations it is generally best to proceed with the assistance of a lawyer.

Source: Governors Highway Safety Association, “Bicyclist Fatalities a Growing Problem for Key Groups,” Oct. 27, 2014