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Increased Rates Of Bicycle Accidents In Central Indiana

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | General Personal Injury

Bicycling is a common sight in urban areas, especially downtown cities. Central Indiana has many bicycle-friendly roads and bike lines. However, that doesn’t mean bicycling isn’t without its risks. Pedal cyclists and other people outside of vehicles dying in crashes are at an all-time high across the country. Current statistics can give insight as to causes and how to stay safe when sharing the road.

Fatality rates of bicycle accidents

According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian and motorcyclist fatalities have been increasing in recent years:

  • 966 pedal cyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2021, the highest in one year since 1975.
  • 948 cyclists were killed on roadways in 2020, up from 858 in 2019.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau data showed an average of 2.7 fatal bicycle crashes for every million U.S. residents between 2017-2021, a 5% increase from 2012-2016.
  • Since 2012, pedal cyclist fatalities have increased by 62% in urban areas.
  • They decreased in rural areas by 38%.
  • The rate of people killed outside of vehicles has increased from 20% in 1996 to 34% in 2021.
  • In 2021, 2.2% of total traffic fatalities were cycling fatalities.

According to the NHTSA, pedal cyclists injured in traffic crashes increased by 7% since 2020.

  • There was a 10% increase in motor vehicle traffic crash fatalities from 2020 to 2021.

Causes of bicycle accidents

There are a number of reasons why bicycle accidents happen. For drivers, the causes include:

  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Turning without looking (failure to yield right of way)
  • Distracted driving (using cell phones)
  • Driving too close to bike lanes and shoulders

For bicyclists, the causes of bicycle accidents include:

  • Falling
  • Hitting something on the road
  • Poor road condition
  • Striking a fixed object
  • Swerving to avoid an animal

Bicycle accident prevention

By far, the most common cause of bicycle accidents, and especially fatal ones, is failure to yield the right of way. Falls and collisions with cars are also common. It is important for both bicyclists and drivers to avoid distractions, be aware of everyone and everything on the road, and follow traffic laws for their vehicle of choice. Bicyclists should be visible at night or wherever there is dim lighting or poor visibility.

Learning statistics can lend insight into common causes of bicycle accidents and how to avoid them. To stay safe on the road, it is in everyone’s best interest to stay updated with all traffic laws and current road conditions.