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How dangerous is riding your bike around campus?

It's not uncommon for University of Georgia students to use bicycles to get from their Athens residences to school or work. This doesn't mean that getting around town doesn't come with some hurdles though. It can be quite dangerous, no matter whether it's during the day or evening.

Data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2011 showed that bicyclists ages 16 to 20 are most vulnerable to becoming involved in crashes. There were some 8,000 bike accidents involving individuals belonging to this age group that same year. More than one-third of them resulted in someone getting hurt.

NHTSA data shows that 69% of bike accidents happen in urban areas. More than half of them happen at nonintersections. At least 30% of all fatal bicycle crashes happen between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The next most dangerous time for bicyclists to be out on the road is between 8 p.m. and midnight. Some 21% of crashes happen during that time frame.

Many bicyclists who are killed in accidents die because they're either struck by a drunk driver or are intoxicated themselves. NHTSA data shows that 28% of the fatal bike crashes in 2011 were alcohol-involved. At least 23% of those involved someone having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08, Georgia's legal limit, or higher.

Most college students are vulnerable to being struck while traveling home from class or studying on campus, a friend's house or a party in the late afternoon or evening hours. Medical bills can quickly mount. Your ability to live the life that you'd planned to may be adversely impacted if you are left with debilitating injuries. An attorney can help you secure compensation necessary to get the best care so that you may be able to have a more productive future.

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