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12 Eye Opening Statistics About Being Hit by a Car on Bike

Bicycling presents a fantastic opportunity for exercise and green transportation, but the activity also leads to hundreds of deaths across the US each year. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s data indicates an increasing trend in “pedalcyclist” fatalities. Consider these 12 car-bicycle accident statistics before you head out in the San Francisco area as a cyclist.

Hit by Car on Bike: The Facts

  1. Roughly 48,000 bicyclists suffered injury at the hands of drivers in 2013. The number represents a slight decrease from prior years. 
  2. Vehicles cause most bicycle-related accidents. According to a 2012 national survey, vehicles were responsible for 29% of accidents.
  3. Bicyclists face a higher risk in urban environments in the afternoons and at non-intersection locations in the evenings. In 2012, 69% of fatal accidents occurred in urban areas, 58% at non-intersections, and 51% between 4:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
  4. The majority of bicycle accidents lead to significant productivity declines and lifelong medical expenses. In 2010, both non-fatal and fatal bicyclist accidents created a productivity reduction of $10 billion.
  5. Bicyclists represent 2% of all vehicle accident fatalities. Most who die suffer serious head trauma. Cyclists who wear helmets can diminish the risk of head trauma by 50%.
  6. According to the most recent data, California has the highest rate of cyclist deaths in the country. In 2012, 338 bicyclists died in vehicle incidents. In the same year, Florida came in second with 329 deaths.
  7. The age of bicyclists involved in vehicle accidents is slowly increasing. From 2003-2012, the average age of those killed increased from 36 to 43. The average age of injured cyclists increased from 27 to 32.
  8. Industry analysts cited alcohol involvement (driver or cyclist use) in 37% of all bicycle-vehicle accidents in 2012.
  9. The death rate in males over 20 is rising. Since 1975, the number has increased from 180 to 541 nationwide.
  10. There were as many as 66.72 million bicycle riders across the country in spring 2015. This data represents a slight decline from spring 2014 and a general increase since 2008.
  11. A designated bike lane can reduce injury and death risk by 90%.
  12. In 2014, bicyclists represented 10% of all traffic-related fatalities in San Francisco. The rate indicates an increase compared to other urban environments across the country.