Current bicycle injury statistics show that the number of cyclists killed in bicycle crashes rose by 12.2 percent in 2015, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This report analyzed bicycle/vehicular crashes in which a cyclist was struck and either injured or killed. The report did not consider single-bicycle crashes or crashes caused or contributed to by bicycle defects. 818 total cyclists were killed in bicycle/vehicular crashes in 2015. Although this number only represents 2.3 percent of all vehicular fatalities, it’s a significant increase from 729 fatalities in 2014.
Despite the increase in fatalities, there was actually a 10 percent decrease in injuries over the same period of time. Overall, there were 45,000 injuries due to collisions with vehicles on U.S. roads. Statistics indicate that there are more cyclists on the roads in recent years, so this may account for some of the increase in fatalities.
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Bicycle injury statistics show that 45 years old is the average age of cyclists killed in crashes. Seventy percent of these crashes occur in urban areas. This seems likely due to the increased traffic throughout these areas. Even though many cities have improved infrastructure for cyclists by adding bike lanes, a number of urban areas still lag behind. Worse, some cyclists have complained that the bike lanes in their area have not been well researched and actually put cyclists at greater risk than they were prior to the lanes being constructed. Three percent of fatalities occurred in bike lanes.
Most accidents with bicyclist fatalities occur in the evening hours, between 6 and 9 p.m. Increased traffic during these periods as well as dim lighting conditions probably contribute to the increase in crashes. Exercise caution during evening hours and install bicycle lights on both the front and rear of your bike.
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Although a hefty percentage of crashes occur at intersections, a full 60 percent of fatalities occur in crashes that are not at intersections. Cyclists are generally in a state of heightened awareness at intersections, but the facts indicate that more crashes occur away from intersections. Exercise safety precautions whenever you travel, and make yourself more visible with lights and reflectors. Further increase your visibility by wearing bright or reflective clothing. Ride towards the side of the lane, and try to ride in a consistent manner, without making sudden moves or lane changes.
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Florida ranked number one for cyclist fatalities, with 150 fatalities reported in 2015. This statistic may be a bit skewed, however, as warm Florida weather allows for cycling year round. One in five cyclists killed in crashes had alcohol in their system. Never, ever drink and ride- no matter how safe you might feel or how short the distance. If you do choose to drink, wait an hour for each drink you have consumed before you ride your bike.
A large percentage of bicycle fatalities could have been avoided by simply riding safely, wearing proper gear, using lights and reflectors, and avoiding alcohol. At Kass & Moses, we see the devastating effects of bicycle crashes far too often. If you or a loved one were involved in a bicycle crash, call today and speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer today.