Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bicycle deaths increase for the first time since the 1970s

A total of 722 American cyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012, compared to 680 deaths in 2011 and 621 in 2010, reported the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state transportation safety agencies.

Florida also had the highest number of cyclist deaths per capita, followed by Louisiana, New Mexico, South Carolina and California. Florida also has the highest number of pedestrian deaths per capita. Kansas ranked 39th among the states in bicycle deaths per capita.

More than two-thirds of all bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas-- usually in intersections.

The GHSA report also pointed out the growing number of cyclists who are killed are adult men, who account for three out of every four cyclist deaths. Boys who are 20 or younger make up 14 percent of cyclist fatalities, followed by adult females (10 percent) and girls 20 or younger (2 percent).

 “The lack of universal helmet use laws for bicyclists is a serious impediment to reducing deaths and injuries, resulting from both collisions with motor vehicles and in falls from bicycles not involving motor vehicles,” according to GHSA.

The safety organization noted that 65 percent of bicyclists killed were not wearing helmets. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia require children to wear helmets, but no states have helmet laws applying to adults.

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