Bike Accident Statistics
Riding a bike is a safe and healthier alternative to using motorized forms of transportation. However, this does not mean that accidents do not occur. While bike accidents are not as common as car accidents, accidents tend to be serious because of the lack of protection afforded to bicyclists. Below, we discuss the common causes of bike accidents and bike accident statistics so you can stay safe while biking outside.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
Most bicycle accidents occur because of another party’s negligence, often the driver of a passenger vehicle. Common causes of bike accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Following too closely
- Unsafe lane changes
- Turning without looking
- Failing to yield cyclists’ right of way
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Drowsy driving
Some bicycle accidents happen because of road defects, such as potholes, road debris, or dangerous road design.
National Bike Accident Statistics
Every year, about 2% of traffic deaths are bicyclists. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that 932 cyclists died in motor vehicle-related crashes in 2020. This is 9% more than the 856 bicyclist deaths in 2019. Bicyclist deaths have increased by nearly 50% since they reached their lowest number in 2010 since 1975. While child bicyclist deaths have declined over recent years, deaths among older bicyclists have increased. In 2020, most bicyclists who died in these accidents were older than 19. Most were also male.
Other important national bike accident statistics from the IIHS for 2020 include:
- Bicyclist deaths peaked from 6 to 9 p.m.
- 79% of bicyclists were killed in urban areas.
- 61% of bicyclist deaths occurred on major roads that were not interstates or freeways.
- 33% of bicyclist deaths occurred on minor roads.
- Bicyclists 19 or younger were more likely to die on minor roads than older bicyclists.
- 32% of bicyclists were killed at intersections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that approximately 1,000 bicyclists die every year and over 130,000 are injured in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. The annual costs of bicycle crash deaths and injuries are usually more than $23 billion, which includes health care costs, lost work productivity, and lost quality of life. The CDC also reports the following information:
- Bicyclists aged 55 to 69 have the highest rate of bicycle deaths.
- Adolescents, teens, and young adults have the highest rate of bicycle-related injuries that are treated in emergency departments.
- Bicyclists aged 10 to 24 are responsible for nearly one-third of all bicycle-related deaths seen in emergency room departments in the United States.
- Males are six times more likely to die and five times more likely to be injured than female cyclists.
- Most fatalities involving bicyclists happen in urban areas.
- 27% of bicyclist fatalities happen at intersections.
- Approximately 33% of bicycle crashes involve alcohol.
Georgia Bike Accident Statistics
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, there were about 24 motor vehicle-related bicycle crashes each year between 2015 and 2019. Ride Safe Georgia reports that pedestrians and bicyclists represented 17% of all traffic-related deaths in 2019.
In Georgia, bicyclists aged 15- to 20-year-olds have the highest rate of suspected serious crash injuries compared to other age groups, but bicyclists aged 10 to 14 had the highest rate of trauma care, compared to other age groups. Annual costs for bicycle crash-related hospitalization and emergency room visit charges are approximately $17 million.
Atlanta Bike Accident Statistics
The crash rate for bicyclists is highest in urban counties outside the Atlanta region. 31 people died while walking, biking, or using a wheelchair in 2021, which represents a 150% increase from the number in 2020.
How To Prove How a Bike Accident Occurred
Costs to treat bicycle-related injuries can be significant. Therefore, accident victims may wish to pursue a claim against a negligent driver to recover compensation for the injuries they have suffered. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help prove how the driver was responsible for the accident by gathering evidence, such as:
- Accident reports
- Witness statements
- Photos or videos of the accident scene
- Medical records
Upon proving the driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for damage to your bike, medical expenses you have incurred, lost wages you sustained because of the accident, and your pain and suffering.
How To Prevent Bike Accidents
Fortunately, there are steps drivers, bicyclists, and other stakeholders can take to reduce bike accidents, including:
- Wear bright and fluorescent clothing to make yourself more visible while biking.
- Add retro-reflective clothing and materials on your bike to further increase visibility.
- Install active lighting on the bicycle and along bike paths.
- Follow traffic rules and use signals.
Despite your best efforts, you may be injured while biking. If you are, consider seeking prompt medical attention and a personal injury attorney.
Chris has successfully represented numerous clients in catastrophic personal injury, employment law matters, class action, consumer protection, business tort, and legislative matters involving multi-million-dollar damages.