Many communities across the United States have become more bicycle-friendly in recent years to reduce traffic, limit the strain on the environment and encourage physical fitness among citizens. However, recent research shows that the number of cyclists losing their lives in Connecticut and on the nation’s roadways is rising sharply, raising important questions about how to keep bicyclists safe.
According to Vice, the number of people dying in bike crashes has risen 25% across the nation since 2010, with the number of bike-related road fatalities increasing by 10% in 2018 alone. While this sharp uptick in bicyclist deaths is cause for alarm, it is especially concerning because the number of road fatalities occurring, in general, is actually on the decline.
Urban areas riskier
Research shows that riding your bicycle in urban areas is especially hazardous. In fact, about 75% of all cyclist deaths take place in urban areas, with New York City seeing more than anywhere else in the nation in 2019. Cyclist deaths are also increasing in Los Angeles, even though the city instituted a “Zero Vision” plan in 2015 that sought to lead to a 20% reduction in bicyclist deaths by the end of 2017.
Common factors in cyclist deaths
Many cyclist road fatalities result from similar circumstances. Crashes involving bikes and motor vehicles lead to cyclist fatalities in many cases, with cyclists having far less protection than the people riding in passenger vehicles. Many cyclists also lose their lives in hit-and-run crashes, or in incidents where drivers were driving while distracted. Dooring, which occurs when a motorist opens his or her car door and strikes a passing bicyclist, is also a common contributor to cyclist fatalities.
Sadly, it appears that the efforts many communities are making to enhance safety and encourage cycling are happening in vain. Until communities truly become more bike-friendly, make sure to exercise extreme care anytime you travel by bicycle.