It’s been decades since bicyclist highway fatalities have been this high. But the 2021 figures released last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the number of deaths sat at 966.
In 2020 948 cyclists died on streets and highways and in 2019 the figure was 858.
League of American Bicyclists policy director, Ken McLeod said this is the most deaths in a year since 1975.
“Traffic fatality data in the United States is trending in the wrong direction,” he said. “Especially for people outside of vehicles, the last decade has seen consistent increases in traffic deaths leading to multi-decade highs.”
NHTSA figures say there was an average of 2.7 fatal bicycle crashes per 1 million residents between 2017 and 2021. That’s a 5% jump over 2012 to 2016. Over half of those fatalities are in five states. They are the PIA Western Alliance states of California and Arizona and in Florida, New York and Texas.
Deaths in urban areas have gone up a staggering 62% since 2012. The good news is that they’ve fallen 38% in rural America.
The NHTSA also points out that the number of people killed outside of a vehicle — motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians and other non-occupants — rose from 20% in 1996 to an all-time high of 34% in 2021.
“While the trends are disturbing, we should not be discouraged into thinking that traffic deaths are inevitable,” McLeod added. “Most other wealthy countries do not experience anywhere close to the rate of traffic deaths experienced by Americans. Reducing traffic deaths is both possible and necessary and will take systematic investments to create safer places to bike, walk, and drive that prioritize safety over speed.”
Source link: Insurance Journal — https://bit.ly/464ioOo