Technology in the automotive industry is supposed to make the world a safer place, but a growing number of cycling deaths may show otherwise.
Georgia has one of the highest rates of bicycle fatalities in the country. Coming in at number 43, the state has low grades in safety from The League of American Bicyclists (LAB). Advents like assisted driving and laws for distracted driving aim to help, but technology doesn’t always work as it should.
Those riding bicycles to work and for leisure are falling victim to more car collisions than the decades before. The fatality rate of bicyclists has grown 6.3% over the last 20 years, with female cyclists seeing an increase of nearly 30%. In Georgia, that works out to 23.3 fatalities for every 10,000 bike commuters.
And sometimes technology can be to blame. Features that are supposed to make life easier may not always make it safer. The American Automobile Association (AAA) performed tests with dummies and automated emergency braking and detection systems. AAA found that vehicles still struck the dummies 60% of the time while only traveling at 20mph in broad daylight.
Also topping the list of dangers is distracted driving. Though many states have hands-free laws for telephones, like Georgia, the problem doesn’t stop there. Vehicles have navigation systems, advanced display screens and cameras that can all vie for attention.
The road may be dangerous for cyclists in the face of technology, but there’s still hope after an accident. Even with a poor safety record, the LAB says that Georgia does pave the way to compensation, assigning an A for legal protections for cyclists.