Bicyclist fatalities increasing, report says

Washington – Bicycle-related deaths are on the rise, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Annual bicyclist fatalities increased 16 percent from 2012, while motor vehicle deaths rose just 1 percent during the same period, states the report, released Oct. 27. It examines fatality trends, bicyclists’ use of helmets and alcohol, and efforts to limit crashes.

Adults 20 and older made up 84 percent of bicyclist deaths in 2012 – an increase from 21 percent in 1975.

Other notable findings include:

  • Male bicycle crash fatalities have risen to 88 percent in 2012 from 82 percent in 1975.
  • 69 percent of bicycling deaths occurred in urban areas in 2012, compared with 50 percent in 1975. Bicycle commuters have jumped by 62 percent since 2000, according to a GHSA press release.
  • More than two-thirds of bicyclists killed in 2012 were not wearing helmets.
  • More than 1 out of 4 adult bicyclists killed were impaired by alcohol.

The report states that driver education materials and courses should cover both motorists and bicyclists. Some states have adopted a Complete Streets approach intended to protect all travelers.