When there is a collision between a bicycle and an automobile, it likely comes as no surprise that the person on the bicycle is far more likely to sustain an injury or die after the crash as compared to the person in the car. However, bicycle crashes are often extremely preventable.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 800 bicyclists died as a result of traffic crashes in the United States in 2018. The most common kind of bicycle accident was a simple fall and the most serious were the ones involving cars.
What should I know about bicycle accidents?
Statistically speaking, bicyclist deaths occurred most often between the hours of 6 PM. and 9 PM. Additionally, it is far more dangerous to be a bicyclist in an urban area as compared to a rural area. According to NHTSA data, three-quarters of all bicyclist deaths occurred in urban areas.
Interestingly, male bicyclists had a death rate 8 times higher than that of female bicyclists in 2017. Less surprising is that nearly 40% of all fatal bicyclist crashes involved alcohol.
What are the current trends?
The unfortunate news is that between 2017 and 2018, bicyclist deaths attributed to motor vehicle accidents rose over 5%. A key takeaway from the NHTSA is to avoid riding your bicycle on the sidewalk if at all possible. First of all, in several jurisdictions riding on the sidewalk is not legal. Additionally, motor vehicle operators are not likely to watch for moving traffic on sidewalks and may not see you when backing out: this is a common cause of bicyclist injury.