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Fear of car accidents may deter Anne Arundel bicyclists

In recent years, it seems that the idea of using a bicycle as a primary source of transportation has become increasingly popular in this country. The benefits are obvious -- it is better for the environment, provides exercise and reduces transportation costs. However, several well-publicized car accidents have recently made Anne Arundel bicyclists concerned about their safety while on the road.

Two recent fatalities this summer have residents especially worried. Both involved educators who were struck and killed by a vehicle while cycling. Another incident resulted in the serious injury of a cyclist who was struck by a car. Public health and safety officials report they receive an average of three calls a month related to bicycle accidents.

However, despite these recent incidents that resulted in a significant amount of media coverage, Anne Arundel officials report that the number of bicycle-related incidents has remained fairly steady over the last three to five years. Despite this, some enthusiasts, including owners of cycling-related businesses, worry that people's fear of being injured or killed deters them from utilizing bicycles on public roads as a form of transportation. The county has reported 13 serious cycling accidents since 2010; four of these resulted in fatalities.

Even if roadways haven't become more dangerous to cyclists over the years, one fatality or serious injury could have devastating consequences on a family. For example, a family who loses a loved one in such an accident will have to cope with the devastating emotional effects as well as the financial consequences related to funeral expenses, medical bills and loss of income and other benefits. Victims, or their families, of these types of car accidents do have the option of filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court. A verdict in their favor could provide them with compensation for the financial burdens created by an accident.

Source: capitalgazette.com, After recent fatalities, safety a concern for Anne Arundel bicyclists, Sara Blumberg, Oct. 20, 2013

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