Is Detroit, Mi Safe For Bicycles?

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Detroit has long been known as the Motor City, but in recent years city officials have made a concerted effort to make Detroit bike friendly as well as car friendly. Take bike trails, for example. Only 55 miles of bike trails existed in Detroit in 2012. Today, that number has increased to 255 miles. Despite this commitment, however, Detroit continues to rank as one of the top 10 U.S. cities for bike accidents, injuries and fatalities.

According to data compiled by the Office of Highway Safety Planning, Detroit, along with Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Warren, have had the highest number of bicycle crashes over the past five years. During this time, these five Michigan cities ranked as follows:

  • Detroit – 753 crashes
  • Ann Arbor – 244 crashes
  • Kalamazoo – 155 crashes
  • Lansing – 154 crashes
  • Warren – 126 crashes

Detroit’s Bicycle Lanes


A big part of Detroit’s bicycle accident problem is that, despite its $14 million expenditure on bike lanes, only 50 miles of them are protected, while 210 miles of them are unprotected.

Cyclists themselves complain about the lack of protection, saying such things as, “If you look at the bike lanes downtown and in Midtown, and even some on East Jefferson, they have the little guard sticks. But not every bike lane has those, so it’s like some riders are protected and others aren’t.”

Michigan Bike Accident Statistics


2020 was a deadly year for Michigan cyclists. According to data compiled by the Michigan State Police, the number of bicycle fatalities in the state rose an alarming 81% from 2019 to 2020, translating to 38 2020 deaths. This increase was despite the fact that the 1,224 bike-related crashes in 2020 were down from 1,492 in 2019.

Additional 2020 bike crash statistics include the following:

  • More male cyclists (936) were involved in crashes than female cyclists (276).
  • Adults between the ages of 21 and 64 accounted for 60.5% of the bike crash fatalities.
  • Far more cyclists involved in crashes were riding during daylight hours (970) than at night in dark, unlighted conditions (151).
  • Most crashes resulting in either injuries or fatalities occurred between 4:00 and 4:59 pm.

The slaughter has continued in 2022. Just last month, a suspected drunk driver killed two cyclists and injured three others in Ionia County when he crossed the center line while passing another vehicle and crashed into them.

Common Bicycle Crash Injuries


Unfortunately, even if you wear a helmet and the proper protective clothing and foot gear, your bicycle affords you very little protection in a crash. Consequently, you face a high risk of sustaining injuries to virtually every part of your body, particularly the following:

  • Head
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Elbows, wrists, hands and arms
  • Hips
  • Knees, ankles, feet and legs

Of these, the most serious injuries are traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury


When your head forcefully hits an unforgiving surface, such as a car or other motor vehicle, the pavement, a sidewalk or a guardrail, the result can be a TBI. Common TBI symptoms, which may show themselves immediately after your wreck or hours, days or weeks after it, include the following:

  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness, nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Vision problems
  • Speech problems
  • Mobility problems
  • Emotional control problems

At its worst, a TBI can leave you permanently disabled.

Spinal Cord Injury


An injury to your neck or back can result in an SCI that could leave you with little or no ability to feel or voluntarily move any part of your body below your level of injury.

Paraplegia occurs when you injure your middle or lower back. Paraplegia causes you to become unable to feel or more your legs and feet, and possibly your hips. It can also cause you to lose your ability to control your bladder and bowel. Quadriplegia, also called tetriplegia, occurs when you injure your neck or upper back. Quadriplegia causes you to become unable to feel or move virtually your entire body.

SCIs are truly life-altering injuries. They almost invariably result in your necessity to use a wheelchair to get around from that point forward.

Other Common Bike Crash Injuries


Other less serious, but nevertheless quite painful, common bicycle crash injuries include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Severe cuts and lacerations
  • Dislocated joints
  • Severe facial injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Soft tissue injuries

Bicycle Injury Costs


If you become involved in a bicycle accident and sustain serious injuries in it, your medical expenses likely will skyrocket and include the following:

  • Ambulance transportation from where your accident occurred to the hospital
  • Hospital treatment and procedures, such as surgery
  • Prescription drugs
  • Post-hospitalization rehabilitation
  • Ongoing physical therapy
  • Follow-up doctor appointments

You also likely will lose income while you’re off work trying to recover.

In addition, you face noneconomic costs, including for such things as the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Possible PTSD
  • Disfiguring scarring
  • Loss of identity as you adjust to your new normal life
  • Loss of your ability to enjoy your life as fully as you did prior to your accident

Getting Legal Help


If your bicycle accident occurred on Detroit’s dangerous streets or anywhere else in Michigan and someone’s negligence of wrongdoing caused it, and therefore your injuries, you have the right to sue that person for compensation sufficient to cover both your economic and noneconomic damages. Not all Michigan law firms, however, are created equal.

Here at the Mike Morse Law Firm, we practice only personal injury law. Our team of highly experienced, dedicated and compassionate lawyers see it as our duty, as well as our privilege, to help our injured clients obtain the maximum amount of compensation allowed under the law.

Not only do our lawyers know Michigan personal injury law, but we also know how to navigate the oftentimes confusing legal and insurance processes that invariably follow an accident. In other words, we take your injuries as seriously as you do, and our goal is to provide you with the superior legal representation you need and deserve so that you can focus on getting better.

To date, our commitment to excellence has resulted in our obtaining more than $1.5 billion for our injured clients, both through settlement and through jury award. We are not afraid to take on the largest insurance companies, and are proud of our reputation for relentlessly and aggressively pursuing our clients’ injury claims, whether at the negotiation table or in the courtroom.

You can rest assured that our lawyers have the resources and the dedication to fully investigate your accident and help you determine who to sue. We also give you personalized service, always answering your questions and keeping you updated on the progress and status of your case. We are fully ready to be your bicycle injury law firm of choice.

Keep in mind, though, that in Michigan, you have only three years from the date of your accident to file suit against the person who caused it.

So contact the Mike Morse Law Firm today. You have a lot to gain and nothing to lose since your initial consultation is absolutely free. Nor is there any obligation on your part. Perhaps most importantly, you never pay us any legal fees unless and until we successfully resolve your case.

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