More Bicyclists on the Roads Lead to More Fatalities

According to the latest traffic accident data analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there has been a dramatic increase in the number of bicycle fatalities across the United States. The NHTSA analyzed traffic accident data for 2011 and concluded that while the overall number of traffic fatalities in the United States decreased by 1.9 percent, the number of bicycle fatalities has actually grown.

Why the increase in bicycle deaths? Some believe the growth of the bicyclist population in general across the country is the cause. They contend that evidence shows deaths are increasing in spite of all the safety measures that have been put into place, such as use of helmets. However, all of this supposition begs the question as to whether cycling is getting more dangerous and, if so, why?

Obviously, there are significant risks associated with riding a bicycle, despite the numerous benefits from this healthy activity. While bicycle fatalities represent fewer than two percent of all traffic fatalities, bicycle trips account for one percent of all trips in the United States.

There is so much we don’t know. For example, how many miles do bicyclists travel each year? For what period of time during those miles are they exposed to motor vehicle traffic? What percentage of bicycle rides take place at night (obviously a much more high risk endeavor)? Are most riders experienced? On what type of roads are they traveling? Are there drugs or alcohol involved?

The bottom line is that bicycling remains a very healthy activity. We look forward to getting all of the above questions answered to make cycling even safer. However, if you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you should consult a bicycle accident lawyer to help you evaluate your case.

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