Bicycling has become an increasingly popular form of transportation in Illinois and around the country. As more cities build bike paths, it may seem like biking is getting safer. However, statistics show that fatal bicycle accidents have been rising over the past decade.
Bicycle fatalities are on the rise
According to the National Safety Council, fatal bike accidents have increased significantly. In 2010, there were 783 fatal bike accidents, and there were 1,089 fatal bike accidents in 2019. Between 2018 and 2019, bicycle accident fatalities rose by 6%.
While bicycle fatalities have increased, nonfatal bicycle injuries have actually declined. Nonfatal bicycle injuries went down by 40% between 2010 and 2019. There was, however, a 7% increase in nonfatal bicycle injuries between 2018 and 2019.
Bicycle accident risk factors
In 2019, car crashes accounted for 712 of the 1,089 bicycle accident deaths that occurred. Riding a bicycle near motor vehicles increases the risk of a fatal accident, especially when roads do not have designated bike lanes.
Statistics show that men are seven times more likely to be killed in a bicycle accident than women. Among the bicycle accident deaths that occurred in 2019, 88% of the fatalities were men. Another risk factor is the time of year. Bicycle accident fatalities reach their peak during the summer months when a lot of people are out biking.
Stay safe while biking near cars
You may be able to lower your risk of being in a bicycle accident by biking during daylight hours and wearing bright clothing. If you are biking with car traffic, try to avoid roads that do not have designated bike lanes.