The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) counted 743 bicyclist deaths in the U.S. in 2013. Of those, 6 occurred in Alabama. That’s slightly fewer than the 9 counted by state Department of Transportation officials in 2012, but doesn’t necessarily indicate a downward trend. There were 176 crashes involving bicyclists in the state that same year, resulting in 138 injuries.
We are likely to see these numbers increase as bicycling grows in popularity in the state. The Alabama Bicycle Coalition reports there are dozens of popular trails throughout central Alabama, particularly around Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.
Most bicyclists fatally injured die because of a collision with a motor vehicle, usually by drivers who aren’t paying adequate attention. However, there are cases in which cyclists are killed or injured on unsafe trails. In these cases, recovery of damages in civil court will depend on the circumstances of the crash, but also on who maintains the trail – and why. Continue reading