Despite attempts to make roads safer for riders, the number of fatal bicycle accidents is increasing in the United States. In 2014, there were 726 deaths and nearly 50,000 injuries from bicycle accidents. That represents a 28 percent increase in annual cycling fatalities since 1998, and an increase of 16 percent since 2010. Experts also noted that since many injuries are never reported, it’s possible the real numbers are actually much higher.
Where Did the Numbers Increase?
The number of children’s injuries on bikes has gone down, but at the same time more adults are getting hurt on the road, especially men and riders over 40 years old. This might have something to do with urban planning on streets vs. residential areas.
Safety measures seem to be working to improve safety for children, including speed limits in residential areas and warning sings to let motorists know that they are entering a school zone or other area where children could be playing.
At the same time, adults who commute by bicycle are still facing dangerous conditions as they struggle to share the road with motorists.
The Numbers on Fatal Bicycle Accidents Aren’t as Bad as They Look
While rising numbers are certainly not a great sign, this is most likely because of a rising population and the growing popularity of biking in America. More people are getting injured as the sport becomes more popular and more adults are biking regularly.
Still, even just one death is one too many. There are still many steps we can take to make streets safer for cyclists. We need to figure out ways to make it easier for cyclists and motorists to share the road, so that the next time we see safety numbers, we see a decrease in fatal accidents.