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Rising fatalities in bicycle accidents with distracted drivers

Connecticut cyclists are aware that distracted drivers can be a hazard on the road. They may not realize, though, that distracted drivers pose a risk to cyclists as well as other vehicles. According to Medical Daily, drivers who are not paying attention behind the wheel are responsible for a rising number of bicyclist fatalities.

The most recent study on distracted driving deaths indicates that 73 cyclists were killed in an accident with a distracted driver in 2010, a 30 percent increase. Much of the danger comes from the widespread use of technology. The study’s author says that because many drivers are using their phones behind the wheel, bicyclists now encounter more distracted drivers than they used to. Cellphone usage behind the wheel is also not viewed in the same light as driving without a seat belt. Additionally, the laws governing distracted driving vary from banning all cellphones to banning texting only.

Many of these accidents with a distracted driver occur when bicyclists are not in lanes dedicated solely for their use. Science Daily says that cyclists need to be aware when they are on the road, as daytime sees almost half of these accidents. Caucasian men between 25 and 64 make up 83 percent of the bicyclists struck by distracted drivers.

Law enforcement sometimes encounters difficulties making sure that distracted driving laws are followed, and it is possible that more accidents occur than are reported. Part of the solution may come from wider installation and use of bike lanes so that bicycles and cars experience a physical separation.

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