Cycling Fatalities at a Glance: What You Need to Know in 2020
According to a recent article on cycling deaths, close to 900 cyclists were killed by American drivers in 2018 alone. Why is that so shocking? While cycling deaths have been increasing steadily over the last decade, 2018 was the deadliest year in a long time (thirty years, to be exact).
The good news is… traffic fatalities have seen a decrease over recent years. But while that’s positive in terms of road safety, it’s important to remember that cyclists and pedestrians are still more at risk than ever.
Cyclists and COVID-19
You might think that COVID-19 would lower cyclist fatalities (given that more people have been spending time inside and off the road). However, with more people spending time outside and avoiding public transportation, the number of accidents involving cyclists has been consistently rising— even during a global pandemic!
Common Causes of Cycling Accidents
There are numerous reasons for cycling deaths these days. From distracted driving to not following standard road rules, an accident can happen in what feels like the blink of an eye. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent a cycling accident.
First and foremost, road safety for cyclists starts with being aware and staying informed. That’s what G3 Help Me is here for.
Today, more drivers are in a hurry to get to where they’re going. Unfortunately, speeding is a common cause of accidents, from traffic collisions to cycling incidents.
Increased Drivers on the Road
Another common cause of cycling fatalities is the number of drivers on the road overall. Simply put, the more vehicles that are on a road, the higher the chances of a cyclist or pedestrian being hit.
As an example, New York is the 4th highest state in terms of cycling deaths. But New York City specifically saw the most deaths over recent years— largely due to the number of cars on the road and the speed at which drivers maintain.
Distracted driving is also a favorite pastime for many drivers these days. It can be easy to find yourself distracted when behind the wheel. So much so, that approximately 25% of U.S. adults admit to multitasking when driving (according to a study by Businesswire).
Multitasking when driving can look different for every driver. For some, it means texting or talking on the phone. For others, it could mean simply listening to music or navigating (things that are built-in features in most cars today).
Larger Vehicle Size
It’s important to note that many people today are purchasing vehicles that are larger in size. Vehicles like SUVs, trucks, jeeps, and crossovers increase the likelihood of hitting a cyclist by pure size alone).
Don’t just take our word for it… the same article on Cycling Deaths reports 40% of people bought trucks or SUVs in 1994, compared to 72% last year. The impact of a larger vehicle alone can be the difference between an injury and a fatality when on a bike.
Everyone knows that driving drunk is against the law. But what many might not know is that drunk drivers are responsible for approximately 16% of cycling deaths, according to studies done between 2015 and 2019.
Additionally, these studies found that 20% of cycling deaths were caused by accidents that end up being hit-and-runs. This makes it even harder for the cyclists and their loved ones to see justice, as there’s no defendant to charge.
What You Can Do to Help
It’s more important than ever for cyclists to be aware of their surroundings and practice safe road-side habits. Drivers, on the other hand, can help minimize the number of fatal cycling accidents by keeping today’s economic standing in mind when operating their vehicle.
As mentioned above, more people are spending time outside on their bikes as a form of transportation (and mere exercise or enjoyment). It’s our shared responsibility as citizens to help protect our community from life-threatening cycling accidents.
For more on cycling and road safety, follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Stay safe out there, and know the G3 team is here for you should you need us.
*The information in this post is sourced from an Outside Online article on Cycling Deaths.
G Turner Howard III
G3 Attorney, Wreck Attorney