Cyclists without helmets involved in 70% of fatal Czech bike accidents

There have been 32 fatal bike accidents in the Czech Republic so far this year, and riders without helmets were in the majority of them.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 26.09.2021 09:33 (updated on 26.09.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Among 32 cyclists who died in the Czech Republic over the first eight months of 2021, riders did not wear bike helmets in 70 percent of these fatal accidents, rescue association Záchranný kruh (Safety Ring) reported this weekend.

Incorrect or inappropriate riding was the most common cause of the fatal accidents, Záchranný kruh added.

As of next year, car drivers must give cyclists at least a 1.5-meter distance when passing them on roads. Drivers violating this rule will face a fine of up to 2,000 crowns.

Police data shows that in addition to the 32 deaths, another 162 cyclists have suffered serious injuries so far this year.

Záchranný kruh connects rescuers, education specialists, and other entities. Together, they focus on prevention and education related to risks, safety, and accidents.

Bike riders do not often realize that an accident at 25 kilometers per hour is comparable to a fall from 2.5 meters directly on the head, the association warns.

Among the prevalent causes of cyclist deaths, inappropriate riding (37.5 percent), excessive speed (28 percent) and not giving priority (19 percent) are most often cited. In 17 percent of cases, a significant amount of alcohol was found in cyclists' blood.

Many people do not fully focus on biking. For instance, they use head phones due to which they pay less attention, Roman Budský from the VIZE 0 safety platform said. He is of the view that all participants in road traffic should be considerate of other people around them.

As for riders, they should maintain their bike properly and equip it with all safety features, such as protective guards, reflectors, brakes and a warning device. Some of these features are mandatory, he noted.

More and more people have begun rising bikes in recent years, and the age group of bikers is changing, too. This is partly because of new technology in cycling tourism.

E-bikes allow fast rides to all riders. When riding an e-bike, for example, older riders might drive faster than they would on a regular bike. A high speed that does not match their condition might represent the biggest threat, Karlovy Vary rescue service head Jiří Smetana stated.

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