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  1. #1
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    stats on cycling deaths

    I posted this on another forum, and thought Tom might be bored and want to rip them apart.

    http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/almanac-safety.html

    Where cyclists die or crash
    U.S. cyclists are three more likely to be killed than German cyclists and six times more than Dutch cyclists, whether compared per-trip or per-distance traveled. (Reuters, Aug. 28, 2003, by Maggie Fox)

    Cyclist fatalities occurred more frequently in urban areas (66%), at nonintersection locations (67%), between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. (30%), and during the months of June, July, and August (36%). (NHTSA, 2004)

    Riding on the sidewalk is several more times more dangerous than riding in the street. (William Moritz, 1998)

    Most deaths on major roads. Fifty-seven percent of bicycle deaths in 1999 occurred on major roads, and 37 percent occurred on local roads. (6)

    Streets with bike lanes have a significantly lower crash rate then either major or minor streets without any bicycle facilities (38 and 56% respectively). (William Moritz, 1998)

    Streets with bike lanes are safer than those without. Article also has information about the safety of bike paths. (BicyclingInfo.org, 2004)

    Texas leads cycling deaths. Texas ranks 14th in number of cyclist fatalities per capita. (5)

    Four states lead cycling deaths. Four states (California, Florida, New York, and Texas) accounted for 43% of bicycle deaths in 1999. (6)

    Austin stats. Statistics specific to Austin are listed below.

    When cyclists die
    Many deaths occur at night. In 1999, 39% of deaths on bicycles nationwide occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight. (9) (more on when cyclists died)

    How many cyclists die
    Deaths per year. 725, 629, 665, 732, and 693 cyclists died per year in 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and 2000 respectively, and were about 89% male. (National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration, and Insurance Institute for Highway Saftey)

    An average of 16.5 cyclists per million die every year in the U.S. (For motorists, it's 19.9 motorists per million.) (National Safety Council 1988)

    Cyclists are 2% of road deaths & injuries. The 761 cyclists killed in 1996 accounted for 2% of traffic fatalities, and the 59,000 cyclists injured made up 2% of all traffic injuries. (5)

    Cycling deaths higher in 70's & 80's. The number of cyclist fatalities in 1996 was 19% lower than the 941 fatalities reported in 1986. The highest number of cyclist fatalities ever recorded was 1,003 in 1975. (5)

    Cyclists accounted for 12% of all nonmotorist traffic fatalities in 1996. Pedestrians accounted for 86 percent, and the remaining 2 percent were skateboard riders, roller skaters, etc. (5)

    Cyclists killed SINCE 1932. Nearly 44,000 cyclists have died in traffic crashes in the United States since 1932 &emdash; the first year in which estimates of cyclist fatalities were recorded. (5)

    Cyclists killed IN 1932. The 350 cyclists killed in 1932 accounted for 1.3% of the 27,979 persons who died in traffic crashes that year. (5)

    Age of cycling victims
    Child cyclists killed. Cyclists under age 16 accounted for 24% of all cyclists killed in 2002. (Insurance Institute for Highway Saftey) Cyclists under 16 were 33% of all cyclists killed and 45% of those injured in traffic crashes in 1996. In comparison, cyclists under age 16 accounted for 47 percent of all those killed in 1986. (5)

    Average age of killed/injured cyclists. In 1996 the average age of cyclists killed in traffic crashes was 31 years, and the average age of those injured was 23.2 years. In 1986, the average age was 23 years. (5)

  2. #2
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    An average of 16.5 cyclists per million die every year in the U.S. (For motorists, it's 19.9 motorists per million.) (National Safety Council 1988)

    I'm surprised these numbers are that close...

  3. #3
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Some of the stats are quite predictable.

    30% of the deaths being from 5pm to 9pm. Those are prime riding hours, and the coincide with busy traffic hours. I'm surprised it isn't higher.

    66% in urban areas - of course. That's where the cars & busy streets are.

    The average age of the cyclist killed is higher ... and more older people are cycling.

    The stats about how much more dangerous it is in the USA than Germany or the Netherlands is interesting. I suspect much of that is due to drivers being more respective of cyclists. Perhaps their cyclists respect the rules of the road more too.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Four states lead cycling deaths. Four states (California, Florida, New York, and Texas) accounted for 43% of bicycle deaths in 1999.
    Those four states make up about a third of the total population. I don't know what percentage of the biking population they represent, but I'd guess that California and Florida, in particular, have large biking populations.

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I wonder if its just cyclists that are being hit and killed. Anyone have any stats for auto deaths for the rest of the world that we could compare to our 50,000 annually.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    I wonder if its just cyclists that are being hit and killed. Anyone have any stats for auto deaths for the rest of the world that we could compare to our 50,000 annually.
    I don't know about current but, back in the 60's, European motor vehicle deaths on a per mile basis were drastically higher than in the US.

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    Wouldn't it be interesting to find someway to glean statistics about the number of lives cycling has saved, lengthened, or created a much higher quality of life?
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    The stats about how much more dangerous it is in the USA than Germany or the Netherlands is interesting. I suspect much of that is due to drivers being more respective of cyclists. Perhaps their cyclists respect the rules of the road more too.
    Don't know about Gemany- But National law protects the cyclist in the Nederlands. If a car and a cyclist have an accident- It will be the car driver at fault- unless it is proved that the Cyclists was in the wrong. And that rarely happens.
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  9. #9
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Much of that is some really old information.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Don't know about Gemany- But National law protects the cyclist in the Nederlands. If a car and a cyclist have an accident- It will be the car driver at fault- unless it is proved that the Cyclists was in the wrong. And that rarely happens.
    I'm thinking that in the US the opposite assumption would be made.

  11. #11
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I am always much more interested in learning the cause of any particular cycling fatality, to try to learn something useful from it. My current concern is the apparently growing level of motorist distraction and inattention, and my solutions are enhanced public education and stricter individual accountability.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
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    Not only that, at least in Germany, one cannot obtain a driver's license until age 18, and then it's a very expensive and difficult thing. In Germany it costs about $2k (as I recall), and it takes several weeks of very in depth, full-time training. In the U.S., if you can fog a mirror, you're in!

  13. #13
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hammer Boy View Post
    Not only that, at least in Germany, one cannot obtain a driver's license until age 18, and then it's a very expensive and difficult thing. In Germany it costs about $2k (as I recall), and it takes several weeks of very in depth, full-time training. In the U.S., if you can fog a mirror, you're in!
    Wow! That would take the pressure off the roads. Hard for people to get to jobs, though, the way we're currently set up. I wonder what the penalties in Germany are for driving without a license?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    I am always much more interested in learning the cause of any particular cycling fatality, to try to learn something useful from it. My current concern is the apparently growing level of motorist distraction and inattention, and my solutions are enhanced public education and stricter individual accountability.
    I think so too. I'm much less concerned about the aggressive drivers who pass me more closely than is necessary because I know they're actually trying to miss me - if just by a hair. The text messaging folks, however, have me rethinking my bicycling practices.

  15. #15
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    I wonder if its just cyclists that are being hit and killed. Anyone have any stats for auto deaths for the rest of the world that we could compare to our 50,000 annually.
    The last I heard was that only Germany was comparable to the U.S. for traffic safety...everyone else was considerably worse.

  16. #16
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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  17. #17
    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    I am always much more interested in learning the cause of any particular cycling fatality, to try to learn something useful from it. My current concern is the apparently growing level of motorist distraction and inattention, and my solutions are enhanced public education and stricter individual accountability.
    The local bike advocate in Central FL did a study of cycling deaths in FL for 1999. He found out of the 119 or so fatalities, all of the cyclists except 2 were doing something illegal that contributed to their demise.

    The thing is that if you look at the fatalities, many of them involve cyclists operating is a truly dangerous fashion like riding at night without lights or reflectors or riding against traffic and so on.

    But there is another thing here. If the cyclist is dead, guess whose version of the accident gets told?


    The thing is that per hour ridden, cycling is half as dangerous as driving.

    I one found a statistical base that listed cycling fatalities in the USA by day of the week and time of day.

    Now I believe that the majority of miles ridden in the year are ridden by club and recreational cyclists on Saturday and Sunday mornings. So if these cyclists had an equal risk as the general cycling population, one would expect the majority of fatalities to occur on these days & times. But when one examines the data, one finds fewer fatalites at these days and times. It is as if all those extra miles are "risk free" as far as fatalities go.

    Another bit of data is the fatalities on large multiday cycling events. Mount Dora FL has had a bike festival that is 3 days long, has about 1000 cyclists and has gone on for 20+ years. It has had 1 cycling fatality and that guy was off of the road at the time. DALMAC in MI has been running for 30 years has 2000 cyclists per year (it fills up) and has 400 miles per cyclist. It has had one fatality. That is 2000 times 30 times 400 or 1 fatality to 24,000,000 miles ridden. By the way, the fatality was a guy who was off of the road and was run down by a DUI so it probably should not even be counted as a cycling fatality.

    I think the official statistics greatly overstate the risk of cycling. In the USA, we have a large uninformed population of bike riders who ride in a needlessly risky fashion. They seem to make up the vast majority of the fatalities. The skilled recreational cyclists seem to suffer far lower fatality rates.

    I believe that I just might be safer cycling than I am driving. But I sure don't feel that way.

  18. #18
    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hammer Boy View Post
    Not only that, at least in Germany, one cannot obtain a driver's license until age 18, and then it's a very expensive and difficult thing. In Germany it costs about $2k (as I recall), and it takes several weeks of very in depth, full-time training. In the U.S., if you can fog a mirror, you're in!
    That may be so. I remember years ago, Sports Illustrated had a story on insane German driving called "From Bad to Wurst". So the Germans seem just as capable of insane behavior as Americans. When I was out west in the National Parks, I discovered that the Germans were the biggest offenders when it came to climbing all over fragile points of interest. They seem to still be barbarians. The Japanese, besides being shopping addicts, show a great deal of respect to things like national shrines.

  19. #19
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ad6mj View Post
    An average of 16.5 cyclists per million die every year in the U.S. (For motorists, it's 19.9 motorists per million.) (National Safety Council 1988)

    I'm surprised these numbers are that close...
    Could it be that there are so many more people in cars than on bikes? Car accidents regularly kill more than one at a time.
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  20. #20
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    European vs US bicycle accident stats seem to track European to US motorcycle stats as well. One theory in the motorcycling world, is that most if not all European drivers start with a motorcycle (moped or scooter). So the average cage (car) driver has a lot more understanding of two wheelers. And if you ever get a chance to ride in Europe, they are much more courteous. I think the same is true with bicycles. In Europe you see bicycles everywhere. Maybe its partially due to $8 gas, and more compact areas (little or no suburban sprawl). You don't see any fat Europeans either. Our last trip, we tried to find even one. After several days, we thought we spotted one. It turned out to be a US tourist..... IF there are any fat Europeans, they must hide them well. As we continue to export our fast food chains, they will probably start catching up to us...

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    So the average cage (car) driver has a lot more understanding of two wheelers.
    That's cute how you went to extra work to use the term "cage".

  22. #22
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    ... The thing is that per hour ridden, cycling is half as dangerous as driving.
    But let's factor in average speeds, since danger per mile driven is the real figure of interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    ... By the way, the fatality was a guy who was off of the road and was run down by a DUI so it probably should not even be counted as a cycling fatality.
    We have had a few of those in California, as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    I believe that I just might be safer cycling than I am driving. ...
    I think I am safer cycling than the average motorist is driving, but given my driving habits, driving record, and choice of vehicle, I believe I am considerably safer than the average motorist.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    NHTSA has studied cycling ("pedalcyclist") crashes in recent years, see the link below for the most recent released in-depth analysis: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-12/DOTHS809572.pdf

    There may have been other work done since then, but if so it's not published.

    There's also fresh statistics extracted from the General Estimating System, published each year in "Traffic Safety Facts," which can be downloaded from the NHTSA website. I haven't pulled one of these for a while, but I'd google Traffic Safety Facts. The most recent should be 2006 if they're sticking to their usual schedule.

    These are data compiled from police reports integrated from all 50 states.

    Road Fan

  24. #24
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    I read a stat one time that said 40% of death were at night and only 4% of the riding was done at night, not good odds.
    Make mine a double!

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