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Why are fatal bicycle crashes rising?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

As the weather improves, you may find yourself more inclined to travel by bicycle, but new statistics regarding cyclist fatalities in America suggest you would be wise to exercise extreme caution when doing so. The number of cyclists dying on the nation’s roads has climbed considerably in recent years despite the fact that many communities have taken efforts to become more cyclist-friendly.

According to Vice, bike deaths have risen 25% across the United States since 2010, even though other traffic fatalities have actually declined during this period. The number of cyclist deaths increased by 10% since just 2018, indicating that cities and towns need to take additional steps to protect their community members.

Unprotected bike lanes

Research shows that cyclist fatalities are more common in cities and urban areas than they are in rural ones, and many such deaths result from unprotected bike lanes. When bike lanes lack protection, “dooring” incidents typically increase, which occur when drivers open their car doors and strike cyclists.

In San Francisco alone, dooring killed 203 cyclists between 2012 and 2015. Poorly designed bike lanes are also a danger to you as a cyclist, and some communities are increasing signage and making bike paths more visible to raise awareness and enhance cyclist safety.

Safety in numbers

Research also shows that cyclists who ride in communities with heavy cyclist presences are less likely to die or suffer injuries in bike crashes. This may be due to the fact that motorists within these communities have become accustomed to sharing the road with cyclists, and they tend to take more steps to do so safely.

In 2017, 783 cyclists lost their lives across the United States, suggesting that more needs to happen in order for cyclists and motorists to safely share the road.

Sharing the road

You do everything you can to stay safe on your bike. While actions like wearing a helmet, limiting distractions and avoiding night time riding are good ways to protect yourselves, motor vehicle drivers have a duty to share the road with other occupants. Cyclists like you are among those. Devastating consequences can occur when drivers fail to share the road with others.