A recent survey showed that 33 states are actively promoting biking and walking and have set goals to reduce the number of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. Oklahoma is not one of those states. In fact, Oklahoma does not have any plans to promote walking and biking or to reduce the number of pedestrian and bicycling accidents statewide. According to an Alliance for Biking & Walking survey, there has been a steady increase in the number of people walking and biking to work nationwide.
The survey found that people tend to bike and walk more in cities that have advocacy programs. This is a growing trend in the United States. There were only a handful of states with biking and walking advocacy organizations in 1996, but today there are approximately 230 state and local advocacy organizations with more than 500 full-time employees. Many of the states with the most advocacy employees have the highest percentage of bikers and walkers. Oklahoma, however, falls short.
Fewer than 3 percent of commuters in Oklahoma choose to walk or ride to work. This is a problem because accidents are more common in areas where drivers are not used to walkers and bicyclists. So, the few people who choose to commute in a healthy, cost-effective way in Oklahoma are at an increased risk of getting injured in an accident.
If you choose to walk or ride to work, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of being in an accident. Stick to roads and walkways that are well lit. Wear bright clothing and make sure you always obey traffic lights and stop signs. It is not safe to assume that drivers see you or that they will properly yield the right of way. Instead, make eye contact and only step or bike into traffic when it is safe to do so.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, the experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at the Maples Law Firm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please contact us to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.