Four Reasons Alaska Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents are So Deadly


More Alaskans are opting to get around on foot or by bicycle, whether for transportation, exercise, fun, or just enjoying the outdoors. Unfortunately, with this increase in non-motorized vehicle traffic, there has been a corresponding spike in the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the number of traffic collisions involving a person walking or biking has been on the rise since 2009. Every year, almost 6,000 pedestrians and more than 780 bicycle riders are killed in vehicle crashes. This amounts to approximately nine deaths per day among these vulnerable road users.


Protecting yourself and your family starts with understanding four key reasons why Alaska pedestrian and bicycle accidents are so deadly, since you will be in a better position to make smart, safe decisions. You can also reduce the potential for these incidents by reviewing some tips while walking or biking in Anchorage. 

  • Size Differential: Even the smallest smart car is larger and heavier than a bicyclist or pedestrian, so being struck by a motorized vehicle is intense and violent. Plus, victims may be tossed several feet upon contact, leading to a secondary impact and additional injuries.
  • Protection: People walking or riding a bike are not surrounded by a metal shell like occupants of an automobile. There is no barrier or buffer to lessen the blow of a crash, so it is not surprising that pedestrians and cyclists make up 18.2% of all traffic fatalities.
  • Speed: Motorized vehicles can reach speeds that far exceed the pace of someone on foot or bike, and that higher velocity carries with it a more powerful impact. A motorist does not need to be driving over the speed limit to cause serious bodily injury or death.
  • Visibility: When bike riding or on foot, a person has a much lower visibility profile. Even if you obey all traffic regulations when sharing the road with motorized vehicles, a driver may not see you in time to avoid a collision.


Safety Tips for Vulnerable Road Users

 In addition to basic, common-sense tips for avoiding pedestrian and bicycle accidents, a few recommendations on prevention include:

Always comply with traffic laws, which DO apply to walkers and bike riders.

  • Be predictable, so drivers of motorized vehicles do not need to guess your next move.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing to make yourself visible.
  • Put your phone away while walking or biking in traffic.
  • Alcohol is involved in 48% of all fatal pedestrian accidents and 35% of bicycle accidents. Avoid walking or biking when you are too impaired to use the road safely.


Reach Out to Our Alaska Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Attorneys

 Even with this knowledge about the risks and safety tips, collisions involving people on foot or bike are still far too common. They are also preventable, so it is important to understand your rights if you were injured by a negligent motorist. To learn more about your remedies, please contact Power & Power Law in Anchorage, Alaska. We can set up a free consultation to review your situation and determine how to proceed.