Maine biking accidents can have disastrous effects on cyclists, pedestrians, and any road user in the vicinity. The cyclist experiences the most significant injuries and subsequent damages in many cases. As a result of the growing concern about bike accidents in Maine and throughout the country, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) lead a study to understand the prevalence and risk factors of bicycle crashes. The NTSB analyzed crash and injury data and interviewed national and local traffic safety stakeholders.
The agency identified three primary safety issue areas in the report: (1) improving roadway infrastructure for bicyclists, (2) enhancing conspicuity, and (3) mitigating head injury. According to the study, while more bike crashes involving motor vehicles occur at intersections, crash severity is higher when an accident occurs at a midblock location. The agency asserts that improving public road infrastructure with distinct bike lanes and road diets can reduce the likelihood of accidents at intersections and midblock crossings. Road diets refer to a roadway reconfiguration that eliminates travel from the road and utilizes space for other uses, such as bicycles.
Further, although there are different reasons why drivers and bikers may not detect each other in time to prevent an accident, enhancing conspicuity can reduce these occurrences. Cyclists wearing reflective clothing, bikes with lights, and in-vehicle crash warning systems could alert motorists to bicycle traffic. Finally, because head injury is the leading cause of bike-related deaths, bike helmets are an effective way to mitigate this concern.