Bicycle safety is a top concern for bicyclists and Lexington city officials. As more people decide to cycle instead of driving a car, cities throughout the country are facing serious questions about their bicycle infrastructure and crash statistics. 

A bicycle crash can result in severe injuries for the rider. Furthermore, bicycle accidents result in costs for the city. Therefore, cyclists, community organizations, government agencies, and law enforcement officials work to make Lexington a safe place for bicyclists. 

The City of Lexington’s Safe Streets program aims to make city streets safe for all users. In addition, the Lexington Area Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan identifies priorities and provides a plan to implement improvements to bicycle infrastructure throughout the greater Lexington metropolitan area. 

Traffic Crash Statistics for Lexington, KY

The City of Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky. It is the county seat of Fayette County. 

According to the 2020 Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts, Fayette County had the second-highest number of traffic collisions in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, there were 13,545 traffic crashes in Fayette County. Traffic crashes decreased in 2020 to 10,782. The decrease in traffic accidents could be partly attributed to the stay-at-home instructions because of COVID-19. 

Other traffic statistics for Fayette County from 2020 include:

  • 26 people were killed in traffic accidents
  • 2,469 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes
  • 393 accidents involved drunk drivers
  • 155 traffic crashes involved drugged drivers

Bicycle crashes were not divided by county. The statewide bicycle accidents in 2020 totaled 354. Four people died, and 237 people were injured in bicycle crashes in Kentucky.

What Causes Bicycle Accidents in Lexington, KY?

Many factors contribute to the causes of bicycle crashes in Lexington. In many cases, negligence and poor decisions cause traffic accidents.

Common factors that contribute to the cause of bicycle crashes include:

  • Inexperienced bicyclists and drivers
  • Failing to follow traffic laws and bicycle laws
  • Distracted bicycling and driving
  • Speeding and reckless driving
  • Motorists passing or following bicycles too closely 
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving
  • Operating a motor vehicle or riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Improper lane changes 

In addition to dangerous driving behaviors, riding conditions may also contribute to the cause of a bicycle accident. For example, dangerous road conditions, including potholes, road debris, and oil spills, can cause a bicyclist to crash. Additionally, poor weather conditions may contribute to the cause of a bicycle accident.

Insufficient bicycle infrastructure may be a cause of some bicycle accidents. Adding bicycle lanes, improving barriers between riders and motorists, and enhancing traffic enforcement can help reduce the risk of crashes. 

What Are the Consequences of a Bicycle Accident?

In many cases, bicyclists sustain severe injuries when they are struck by motor vehicles. Wearing bicycle helmets and protective gear can reduce the risk of serious injuries, but it does not prevent all injuries from a bicycle crash.

Common injuries sustained by bicyclists include:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Lacerations and abrasions (road rash)
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Injuries to internal organs
  • Scarring and disfigurement 
  • Loss of limbs and amputations 
  • Neck and back injuries 

A rider may sustain permanent impairments because of a bicycle crash. As a result, the cyclist may require ongoing medical treatments and personal care. In addition, injured bicyclists may be unable to work, or their earning potential may be significantly reduced because of a disability.

If a motorist causes a bicycle accident, the cyclist may be able to recover compensation for injuries and damages by filing a personal injury claim. The rider may also be able to receive reimbursement for lost wages and medical bills. They could also receive compensation for their pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages. In case you are facing a similar situation, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer to talk about your case.

Bicycle accidents also impact motorists. For example, a motorist could have a personal judgment for damages if the motorist caused the accident. In addition, insurance premiums for all drivers could increase if traffic crashes increase in Lexington.

The city also deals with the consequences of bicycle accidents. Traffic crashes result in costs for the city, including the cost of emergency responders and repairs to city property. Additionally, being designated as a dangerous city for bicyclists could hurt tourism.

Everyone Working Together Can Improve Bicycle Safety in Lexington

Improving bicycle safety is a community effort. Motorists, bicyclists, government agencies, and community organizations working together can discover solutions to traffic problems. It is in everyone’s best interest to create safe streets in Lexington. Reducing the number of traffic accidents reduces the risk of people being injured or killed on Lexington streets. 

Individuals can contact their city leaders to inquire about programs and projects designed to increase bicycle safety in Lexington. Getting involved and taking personal responsibility are the first steps in improving bicycle safety.

For more information, see our benchmarking report and more information on past benchmarking reports.