You and your family were watching Fox 5 last night and saw an interesting story about how traffic deaths and injuries have been steadily declining since 2000. After the story ended, your husband turned to you and made a joke about how since the roads are getting safer, you no longer had to ride your bike like an 80-year-old grandma hauling a wagon full of babies.
Although he thought he was funny, and you know perfectly well how cautiously you ride. Does that mean that perhaps you should be less concerned about bike accidents, since traffic deaths are decreasing?
Traffic and Bicycle Fatalities Compared, 2003–2012
Within recent years, traffic fatalities have been slowly but steadily declining; however, the percentage of bicyclist fatalities within the overall traffic deaths has been tragically growing. The statistics reported here, taken from research done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, illustrates the consistent rise in percentage of bicycle deaths over the past ten years.
- 2003: Out of 42,889 traffic fatalities, 629 were bicyclists (1.5 percent of the total number of fatalities)
- 2005: 43,510 fatalities, 786 bicyclists (1.8 percent)
- 2008: 37,423 killed, 718 bicyclists (1.9 percent)
- 2010: 32,999 fatally injured, 623 bicyclists (1.9 percent)
- 2012: 33,561 killed, 726 bicyclists fatally hurt (2.2 percent)
As a result of this increase, bicycle precautions and accident prevention have become even more important. In Virginia alone, the average percentage of bicycle deaths is 1.4 percent and the Centers for Disease Control averages bicycle injuries to occur once every eight minutes (approximately 70,000 injured each year). Therefore, the next time you decide to take your bike out for a ride, make sure you’re taking the proper safety precautions (including use of helmet, pads, and other safety gear), as well as following all traffic and pedestrian laws. Remember, although it may not be protected like one, your bike is still considered a traffic vehicle and subject to all traffic and safety laws.
Don’t be a statistic! Pay attention, follow bike safety guidelines and share this page with your loved ones to help promote safety awareness to decrease bike accident injuries and fatalities.
Need more information on bike accident injuries or claims? Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help answer your questions, address your concerns and give you the peace of mind you need. Call now for advice and claim help.