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Data Collected on How and Why Cyclist Deaths Occur

indexAmong the 628 bicyclist fatalities recorded between 2011 and 2013, the League of American Bicyclists found three trends after manually collecting details about the circumstances of each death.

  1. Rear-end collisions cause the highest percentage of cyclist fatalities.

Although rear-end collisions comprise of only 3.8 percent of collisions, of those, 40 percent end in cyclist fatalities. Even though legal liability lies with the driver in rear-end accidents, cyclists can take an active role in preventing this type of collision. To avoid being rear-ended, bicyclesafe.com suggests not passing on the right, staying off the sidewalk, and always using a mirror.

  1. Driver error contributes to more deaths than cyclist error.

When data was available, more than 80 percent of cyclist fatalities were cataloged under unsafe driving as the secondary factor. This includes careless driving, drivers who commit hit and runs, and driving under the influence. Cyclist error contributed to a few fatalities, so always remember to bike on the right side of the road, yield to drivers when appropriate, and try not to cycle on the sidewalk.

  1. High-traffic urban roads find most cyclist deaths.

A higher number of cyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas on arterial and local roads. While we do not know how many cyclists bike on each of these, the numbers do indicate danger zones. Be most attentive when biking on these types of streets.

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