Just like drinking and driving, drinking and biking do not mix. Alcohol impairs your cognitive and motor skills and slows your reaction time. Despite the obvious dangers of operating a motor vehicle or bicycle while under the influence of alcohol, millions of people still do it. Roughly 3.2 percent of Iowans admit to getting behind the wheel in the past 30 days after drinking too much, which, incidentally, is significantly higher than the national average of 1.9 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Statistical Snapshot of Alcohol-Related Bike Accidents
Statistics don’t lie. One glance at the following figures provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and it becomes obvious just how deadly the mix between alcohol and driving/biking can be.
- In 34 percent of fatal bicycle accidents, either the cyclist or the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
- Of all the bicyclists who died in traffic accidents in 2013, 20 percent had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 g/dL, the legal limit for alcohol, and nearly one-quarter of them had BAC of 0.01 g/dL.
Intoxication Affects Bike Accident Liability
In addition to putting your and others’ lives in danger when you bike or drink while under the influence, you also put yourself at risk legally. First of all, if you are ever responsible for an accident and your BAC exceeded the legal limits, you will be subject to criminal charges. This can mean jail time, fines and lost driving privileges, among other penalties.
Also, driving or cycling while intoxicated is considered negligence in an accident claim or lawsuit. As such, if ever you are in a crash and were inebriated at the time, you will be the party responsible for the damages. This is because Iowa is an at-fault car insurance state. This means that when you hurt someone, they are legally entitled to pursue recovery from you, i.e., sue you.
Involved in an alcohol-related bike accident? Call our injury attorney for a free consultation.
If you were recently in a bicycle accident and sustained damages, it’s in your best interest to run your case by an attorney to determine your options and the best way to seek restitution. For a bicycle accident lawyer in Des Moines, call Walker, Billingsley & Bair at (641) 792-3595 or use our online contact form.