Virginia, Washington DC and the surrounding areas are busy year-round. In the warmer months, however, there are bound to be more people taking to the streets and roads. This can increase the chance of an auto accident.
Some people are particularly vulnerable to injuries and loss of life. Pedestrians and bicyclists are notable in this context. A campaign by Street Smart is hoping to educate the population and enforce the laws for bicycle safety. Despite that, people should think about their options after an accident.
Statistics show the dangers pedestrians and bicyclists face in the area
Statistically, it makes sense for safety advocates to focus on bicyclists and pedestrians and making the roads better for them by avoiding collisions. In 2022, there were 141 bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities in the area. This was 37% more than in 2021.
The state has put rules in place with bicyclists in mind. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, drivers are required to change lanes when they are passing a bicyclist. If there is no other lane available, they are expected to move three feet to the left. Although it is relatively early in 2023, bicyclist fatalities have risen by 150% from the same time in 2022.
Regarding enforcement, the fines for drivers who do not adhere to traffic safety regulations can be between $40 and $500, depending on what they did. In addition, these transgressions can result in points on their license.
Accidents can cause extensive problems and having help is a wise step
It is undoubtedly a positive that safety advocates, state agencies and law enforcement are being proactive in trying to make the roads safer, especially for people who are walking or riding bicycles. Unfortunately, auto accidents are sometimes unavoidable.
Often, drivers are distracted, reckless, under the influence or behave in dangerous ways to put themselves and others in jeopardy. When there is a collision, people can suffer long-term damage. Those on a bicycle or who are pedestrians are more at risk because they do not have protection.
Medical costs, lost earning potential and other problems can come about. Having guidance with determining the accident cause and thinking about how to move forward may require professional assistance.