We regularly read and hear about collisions in which bicyclists are struck by motor vehicles and injured or killed. Cyclists take their lives into their hands every time they go for a ride.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bicycle rides make up 1% of all trips in the U.S., but those trips account for nearly 1,000 deaths or about 2% of all motor vehicle-related deaths. There are an estimated 130,000 cyclists injured annually.
Who is injured
Statistics from the CDC reveal that:
- Male cyclists are six times more likely to be injured and 5-times more likely to die than female cyclists.
- Adults ages 55 to 69 are the age group with the highest mortality rate.
- Children and adults ages 10 to 24 account for nearly one-third of all bicycle-related emergency room visits.
- One-third of fatal crashes involve alcohol, either the motorists or the cyclist.
- The fatality rates are highest between June and September.
Where they are injured
Some locations have unique circumstances that make them dangerous, resulting in repeated collisions, injuries and deaths.
- 75% of fatal bicycle crashes occur in urban settings.
- 64% of deadly crashes occur away from an intersection.
- 27% of fatal collisions occur at an intersection.
Common causes for bike collisions
The two most common reasons for collisions are:
- One party should have yielded to the right of way.
- The cyclist was not visible to the motorist.
Cyclists have rights
Safety gear like helmets are essential, but bicyclists are still much more likely to get severely or fatally injured in a collision with motor vehicles. Victims fatally or severely harmed by motorists can hold negligent parties accountable, whether a reckless motorist or a municipality that does nothing to improve the safety of high-risk areas.