Bicycle safety in Kentucky is a big issue because the State has not created a convenient and safe bike network system. In fact, Kentucky ranks 49 out of 50 for bicycle safety.
Instead of making biking safer, Kentucky relies on what is referred to as a sidepath law. This particular law is a source of contention for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists as it leads drivers to believe that bicycle riders should not be on the road.
There is also no safe passing law in Kentucky. A safe passing law would outline the safe distance for drivers to pass bikers. The recommended distance is 3 feet. Instead, cyclists have to follow the laws pertaining to motorists, with few differences.
Under current state laws, a bike rider can use a highway shoulder to travel. Two bike riders can travel side-by-side on the shoulder and side-by-side on a bike path, if there is one to use.
In 2017 Kentucky’s population was 4,454 million, and it recorded 782 fatal traffic accidents, with 7 fatal accidents involving cyclists. The population rose to 4,468 million in 2019 and 4.5 million in 2020. Many residents may have bicycles and if they do not know that they have to follow the same rules of the road as cars, this can not only cause confusion, but result in serious accidents, injuries and possible death.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Perhaps the most common biking injury is head trauma, a fact that the American Academy of Family Physicians indicates is between 22 to 47 percent of the cycling injuries they treat. Head injuries make up roughly 60 percent of cyclist deaths and the major part of the group that is left dealing with permanent disability.
Other injuries can include:
- Facial contusions, fractures, soft tissue injuries
- Dislocated joints
- Strained, sprained muscles
- Bone fractures
- Road rash
- Neck injuries
- Pelvic injuries
- Abdominal injuries
- Penetrating injuries
- Organ damage due to blunt force trauma
It is clear that Kentucky needs to create and develop a bike infrastructure that offers cyclists another alternative to safely ride to work each day. Riding on the side of the road is not safe and can result in accidents.
In the meantime, if you or a loved one was involved in a bike accident with a motor vehicle, Hessig & Pohl are here for you and happy to answer any questions you may have about filing a personal injury lawsuit. The first consultation is free.
We walk you through your legal rights, discuss your case in detail, lay out your options and explain what role negligence may play in your case. We do not quit until we obtain justice for you. Call or text us at (502) 777-1111.