The summer season is in full-swing and bicyclists are traveling roads and trails throughout America, but for as much fun as this activity can be there are also dangers. Here, in a multi-part series, we will take a look at some of the statistics regarding bicyclists and the potential for injuries and, in the worst case scenarios, fatalities.
According to recent statistics, approximately two people per day are killed in bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles. The numbers obviously fluctuate over the years but, for a period of about seven years from 2006 to 2013, anywhere from 682 to 772 bicyclist fatalities occurred in the United States. That may sound like a lot, but these numbers show that these fatalities in any given year represent only about two percent of the total number of deaths that result from motor vehicle crashes.
Does that mean that riding a bicycle is statistically a very safe way to travel or commute? Perhaps. But, the reality is that as time goes on drivers aren't becoming more attentive to their surroundings - they're actually becoming more distracted.
Bicyclists can't take it for granted that they are safe in their designated bike lanes. For all of the precautions that a bicyclist might take to avoid a collision with a motor vehicle, the fact is that we all know distracted drivers are on the roads every day - looking at their smart-phones instead of the road; talking to passengers in the vehicle with them; or maybe they are messing around with some electronic feature in the vehicle like GPS. The danger of a fatal accident is very real for bicyclists, regardless of the statistics. And the danger may be growing every year.
Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, "Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics," Accessed June 10, 2016