• Traffic Safety Facts : Bicyclists and Other Cyclists

    by  • May 7, 2011 • Safety • 0 Comments

    In the most recent data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration (NHTSA), there were 630 “pedalcyclist” fatalities in the U.S in 2009, which accounted for 2% of all traffic fatalities during the year. NHTSA’s report contains a wealth of other information, with the data broken down by rural / urban, intersection / non-intersection, time of day, age of victim, gender of victim and alcohol involvement.

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    Here are Delaware’s numbers between 1998 and 2009:

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    Back in 1995, Pucher and Dijkstra calculated that the bicylist fatality rate in the United States was about 10 times the fatality rate for the occupants of light cars and trucks per mile (or kilometer) traveled. What about Delaware? In recent years, the NHTSA reports that bicyclists have been more than 3% of all traffic fatalities. But, according to the Census Bureau, only 0.3% of all commuters use a bicycle as their main means of traveling to and from their place of work. Since car/truck trips are on average longer than bicycle trips, Pucher and Dijkstra’s 10X number probably underestimates the relative risk (per mile traveled) of bicycling in Delaware in 2011.

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    Source: Pucher and Dijkstra

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    About

    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He serves on the board of directors of Delaware Greenways and as the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever. Delaware is now officially ranked as the #3 Bicycle Friendly State in America.

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