Against trend of safer riding conditions, bike deaths increase in 2011
Earlier this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that bicyclist deaths increased by 8.7% from 2010 to 2011. This spike stands in contrast to the longer-term trend of bicycling becoming safer. Over the past 20 years, bicycling fatalities fell by 21%.
According to officials, the increase in bicycle deaths likely reflects more people riding bicycles. During the past two decades, the number of trips taken by bike has doubled. Particularly in cities, more and more people are commuting by bike.
As bicyclists, we know how important safe roads are whether we are riding to work, to the store, or for recreation. Transportation officials estimate that approximately two-thirds of Americans would start bicycling if they had a safe place to ride. Our recent survey of PeopleForBikes.org supporters found similar results: more than two-thirds of you say you would start riding for transportation or would ride more often if conditions were safer.
A proven way to increase bicycling safety is to put more green lanes on the ground. In 2012, the number of protected green lanes have nearly doubled in the United States. According to a new count by our Green Lane Project, there will be 102 protected green lanes built in 32 US cities by the end of the year. This growth is huge, but there's still a long way to go until every community has a network of safe, low-stress places to ride.
Whether you are traveling on two or four wheels, these stats are a good reminder to slow down, be aware of your surroundings, and join our movement to build a better, safer future for biking!blog comments powered by Disqus