Common Ways 800+ People Die on Bicycles Each Year

Category: Auto Accidents

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While a common transport-related fear is centered on planes, you’re a lot more likely to die in a bike-related accident – the chances are just shy of 1 in 5,000, compared to 1 in 20 million for planes.

While that’s a lot better than the 1 in 103 chances of dying in a motor vehicle accident, the problem is that any given bike accident is more likely to be fatal than a car accident.

Anyone who’s injured by a cycling accident could be entitled to damages; in that case, they should contact a car accident lawyer, who will know the ins and outs of traffic laws, how to establish liability, and more.

The question is, how can you avoid getting into a bike accident? Forewarned is forearmed – let’s take a look at a few facts regarding bicycle usage, injuries, and fatalities in the US.

Trends in Cyclist Deaths and Injuries Over the Years

If you’re looking at how the numbers have changed since 1975, it doesn’t look too bad – you’ll see a 16% decrease. However, that statistic doesn’t tell you that cyclist deaths reached a low point in 2010, then rose 36% by 2019. Here’s what the numbers look like for collision-related fatalities the past few years:

  • 818 deaths in 2015
  • 840 deaths in 2016
  • 777 deaths in 2017
  • 854 deaths in 2018
  • 846 deaths in 2019

Males account for a whopping 88% of bicycle deaths, which is 7.3 times higher than the rate for females. Males in their 40s or 50s seem to be disproportionately affected by bicycle fatalities compared to other age groups, possibly because of the popularity of cycling as a sport.

Females, on the other hand, seem to have roughly the same fatality rate across all age groups.

When you’re talking about injuries, the story is much the same for females, but very different for males. While you can see a small peak in injuries for males in their 40s or 50s, by far the highest occurrence is in males ages 10 to 14, even if you’re looking at data over the last two decades.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 846 cyclist fatalities in 2019 caused by collisions with motor vehicles; not surprisingly, that accounts for almost all bicycle-related deaths for that year.

If you’re examining motor-vehicle accidents, though, bike-related collisions only caused 2% of fatalities.

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