Cycling Accidents In USA – Facts & Statistics

Cycling Accidents
Cycling Accidents

The weather is getting nicer every day, which means that many avid cyclists are starting to pump up their bike tires for those long evening rides around their area. Many people are even starting to ride their bike to work, which has many other challenges of its own. Before you head out, you may want to check this out: Unfortunately, even if you do what you can to avoid accidents when bicycling, they still happen. Following are some of the statistics regarding cycling accidents:

  1. 75 percent of fatal/serious accidents happen in urban areas
  2. ½ of cycling fatalities happen on rural roads
  3. 75 percent of accidents occur at/near an intersection
  4. 80 percent of accidents occur in the day time
  5. 80 percent of fatalities are male
  6. ¼ of cyclists who are injured or killed are children
  7. ¾ of cyclists who are killed sustain serious head injuries

The main contributing factor to cyclist collisions is human error. In fact, according to statistics from 2014, around 73 percent of reported accidents were due to rider/driver error. Most of the time, accidents that involve children are due to the child playing, riding too fast, losing control, or doing tricks. Teen/adult cyclists are much more likely to be involved in accidents with motor vehicles- but around 16 percent of fatal/serious accidents do not actually involve another vehicle, but are due to the rider losing control.

On the other hand, in those collisions in which a bicycle and a vehicle are involved, the most common factor is that the driver or rider failed to look properly- especially at intersections. The driver not looking properly accounts for around 57 percent of collisions and the cyclist not looking properly accounts for the other 43 percent.

Some of the other common contributing factors are poor turn/maneuver (17 percent) or being careless/reckless/in a hurry (17 percent). The cyclist is much more likely to be seriously injured when the driver is under the influence, speeding, or going too fast for the current road conditions. Approximately 20 percent of cycling accidents are due to the cyclist entering the road from the pavement, such as crossing the road at a pedestrian crosswalk- over 1/3 of collisions involving children are due to this.

Following are some of the most common injuries in cycling accidents:

  1. Limb: these are the most common in cycling accidents- more than 40 percent of cyclists involved in an accident will suffer an arm injury and around 25 percent will injure their legs
  2. Chest/Abdomen: these types of injuries are much less frequent- at a rate of about 5 percent- but are typically more serious. When they do occur, they are typically in conjunction with injuries to the head.
  3. Head: injuries to the head range from fatal fractures of the skull/brain damage to minor concussions/cuts are quite common when it comes to cycling injuries. According to the data from hospitals, approximately 40 percent of cyclists and 45 percent of child cyclists injure their head in some way.

When you are riding your bicycle on a beautiful afternoon, remember to always pay attention to your surroundings. You are the one in control- you must be aware that those around you may not necessarily see you. You must do what you can to avoid an accident that could be fatal.