As the number of bike riders on Arizona increases, some people are suggesting we add new laws to protect pedestrians, drivers, and other bike riders from bicyclists who are not being safe on the roads. In fact, some are calling for laws that make it illegal for a person to text while operating a bike.
Are these laws reasonable? Is distracted biking really an issue? Keep reading to get answers and if you have been involved in an accident with a bike we recommend contacting The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 602-340-0030 for your free legal consultation.
A Look at Distracted Driving
Before diving into distracted biking, let us look at a situation that has plenty of research done on it: Distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people die each day in car accidents caused by distracted drivers. In fact, 25% of car accidents involves someone using a cellphone, which translates to more than 340,000 accidents every year. It stands to reason that if texting is distracting to those driving cars, it would be equally distracting to those operating a bike.
There is a Lack of Research on the Topic
The real issue is not whether or not texting while cycling is dangerous, the issue is whether or not it is enough of a problem to warrant spending money to try to reduce how often it happens. At this point, there is a lack of information about texting while riding. It is true that studies about texting and driving have found that drivers take their eyes off the road for five seconds, on average, every time they look at a text.
Studies about driving and texting have also said that it is equally dangerous as drinking and driving and that the driver must disengage much of the their brain power from driving to pay attention to their text. It seems as though this would all be relevant to bike riders but there are no studies at this time. In fact, when the New York City Department of Transportation looked for evidence of this being an issue, they could not find a single case in which a bicyclist’s phone use was cited as contributing to an accident.
Texting While Driving is Still the More Relevant Issue
The truth is that more than 65% of accidents involving cars and bikes are the fault of the driver. As a result, it stands to reason that the issue of texting while driving is having a larger impact. If Phoenix wants to work to reduce bike accidents, they may look at spending money elsewhere, such as increased bike lanes and better education about the legal rights of bike riders.
If you have been involved in a bike accident then you should talk to a personal injury attorney right away. You can reach The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker for a free legal consultation at 602-340-0030.