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15 Bicycle Safety Facts, Statistics, and Tips

CyclingH0w shared with Healthy Lombard that the benefits of cycling are well documented. It’s a fun way to get fit. It causes less strain and injury if done correctly. Cycling also allows you to accomplish other tasks, such as getting to work or buying groceries, while also exercising. It is, therefore, understandable why cycling is an increasingly popular activity among Americans.

Notwithstanding all the benefits of cycling, many cyclists are getting injured or killed on US roads. For instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 857 cyclists were killed and 47,000 injured in the United States in 2018. What is of concern is that the NHTSA figures show that the number of cyclist fatalities in the United States has been on a steady increase since 2009, dipping only slightly in 2013 and 2017.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that cyclists are more susceptible to injury and death from crashes than motor vehicle occupants. This makes it evident that there is an urgent need to change the situation. As a cyclist, you play an essential part in ensuring your safety on the roads.

This article presents some bicycle safety facts, statistics, and tips to help every cyclist remain safe at all times on our roads. Mostly, we get our data from the US Department of Transport’s NHTSA and other interest groups dedicated to cyclists’ safety.

1. Most Accidents Happen in Urban Areas

As can be expected, urban areas are the epicenter of road accidents for cyclists. For instance, 71% of cyclists’ deaths in 2016 occurred in urban areas, while the rest of the same year’s deaths happened in rural areas.

Urban arterial roads (high capacity roads that deliver traffic from collector roads to freeways) have the highest percentage of cyclist fatalities. These roads are responsible for around 44% of cyclist deaths.

2. More Cyclists are Dying now Than In 1990

With innovations in in-vehicle technology and ongoing research into road safety, you would expect fewer cyclists to be dying from road accidents now than 30 years ago.  Unfortunately, data shows that more cyclists died in 2018 than in 1990.

Of course, some could argue that there are likely to be more cyclists on the roads today than in 1990. For example, reports that “The number of cyclists/bike riders in the U.S. has increased over the past three years from around 43 million to 47.5 million in 2017.” However, the death of over 800 cyclists on our roads shows that a lot still needs to be done to ensure that no single death is recorded.

3. Cyclists Are More Likely to be Killed at Night

Not surprisingly, most cyclist fatalities occur at night. For instance, the NHTSA reports that in 2016, during weekdays and weekends, the highest proportion of bicycle fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. On weekends, 20% of fatalities occur within that timeframe.


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