In 2011, the US Department of Transportation published Traffic Safety Facts about bicycling for the year 2009. The facts are very sobering. In 2009, there were 630 cyclists killed and 51,000 injured in crashes with motor vehicles. That means there is one bicycling injury about every 10 minutes! The good news – 2009 cycling fatalities are about 12% lower than the prior year, and are at the lowest mark since 2003.
The majority of bicycling crashes nationwide occur in urban areas. Interestingly, most cycling fatalities took place at non-intersections. Nearly 3/4 of the fatality crashes occurred during daylight hours, with the single largest percentage taking place between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The average age of the cyclist who died was 41. The average age of the cyclist injured was 31. With both statistics, the age of the effected cyclist has become older over the last decade. Overwhelmingly, males make up the largest part (81%) of cyclists suffering injuries in 2009.
PLEASE DON’T BICYCLE AND DRINK ALCOHOL! More than 1/4 of all cycling deaths involved bicyclists with a blood alcohol concentration of .01 grams per deciliter or higher. If one includes both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers, alcohol involvement was reported in about 40% of all fatality accidents.
Florida has the highest total number of bicycling fatalities in the US in 2009 – 107 deaths. While California has about double the total population of Florida, California had 99 cycling deaths. When it comes to the number of bicycling deaths per million people, Delaware actually had the highest rate of cycling death, followed by Florida.