Study Finds Cyclist Deaths on the Rise

Fatalities jump 16 percent

Oct 28, 2014
Outside Magazine
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California and Florida lead the nation in cycling deaths.    Tobias Ackeborn/Thinkstock

Cyclist deaths on U.S. roads increased 16 percent between 2010 and 2012, when 722 cyclists were killed, according to a study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. This increase outpaced deaths in car crashes, which increased just 1 percent during the same time period.

The study also found that cyclist deaths are an increasingly adult problem: Adults represented 84 percent of cyclist deaths, up from 21 percent in 1975. Almost 70 percent of cyclist deaths happened in cities, and more than half are concentrated in just six states: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Texas.

According to the study, at least two-thirds of the fatally injured cyclists were not wearing helmets. A quarter of cyclists over age 16 who were killed had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit to drive—lower than the comparable figure, one-third, of drivers killed in crashes.

Though fatal bike accidents are rising, they’re still under the 1975 peak, when 1,003 people were killed.

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