November 7, 2012
A new study out of Canada confirms what every Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer already knows – separate bike-only lanes help reduce the risk of injuries to bicyclists.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia, and has high praise for Vancouver’s bike-lane infrastructure. The researchers analyzed approximately 690 bicycle accident-related injuries that occurred in Vancouver and Toronto. These accidents occurred between 2008 and 2009. The injuries were then correlated to the type of bicycling infrastructure that was in use at the time of the accident.
The researchers found that the risk of being injured when a person was riding in a bike-only lane was approximately 10% of the risk involved when a person rode in a lane which had no painted lanes or bicycle symbols.
The researchers found that a bicyclist’s risk of being involved in an accident was also much higher on roads where bicyclists are allowed to bike right along vehicles, with no form of protective infrastructure. In such lanes, the researchers found that bicyclists are very likely to get injured from an opening car door, or from a motorist hitting the bicycle from behind. The bicyclists were also at a much higher risk of being sideswiped by a vehicle.
The researchers have much praise for Vancouver’s extensive bicycle-only infrastructure, which has tended to be controversial. Many motorists have plenty of complaints about the bicycle-only lanes, which, they say, take away the amount of traveling space that is reserved for motorists. There are also complaints of bicycle-only lanes causing severe parking headaches. There is no doubt however that these bike-only lanes have reduced the risk of injuries for Vancouver’s bicyclists.