|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2017
Contact: Kara Macek, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Report Detailing Bicyclist Fatalities Prompts 30 Life-Saving Action Steps for States
Better data, law enforcement training, and promotion of roadway improvements among recommendations
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- New research shows that bicyclist deaths rose
12.2% to 818 in 2015, the largest percentage increase of all roadway
user groups that year (the latest year in which data is available). But
unlike decades ago, when children and teens represented the bulk of
bicyclist fatalities, today the average age of those killed is 45, and
most are male (85%).
"We need to ensure that bicyclists and motorists can share roads
safely," said Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State
Farm. "Unfortunately, bicyclists are vulnerable and much more
susceptible to serious injury or death when on the roads with vehicles.
That's why it is so critical that we examine the factors surrounding
these crashes and leverage a variety of proven tools to improve
bicyclist safety nationwide."
A unifying theme in many of these crashes is that the motorist
often fails to see the bicyclist, while the bicyclist expects the driver
to give way and is unable to stop in time to avoid a crash. This
illustrates the need for all people to pay attention to their
surroundings whenever they take to the road.
Other important data presented in the report includes where and
when fatal bicyclist-motor vehicle crashes are occurring (72% in
non-intersection locations, and 53% between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.,
respectively). Alcohol was a factor in 37% of the 2015 bicyclist
fatalities for either the cyclist or the driver. The report acknowledges
limitations on the currently available data and calls for states and
localities to refine crash reports to improve the accuracy of the data
Better crash data is just one of the 30
recommendations. Other key suggestions include: more training for law
enforcement to understand state and local laws designed to protect
bicyclists; partnering with bicycling and community organizations to
amplify driver and cyclist safety messaging; and pairing infrastructure
improvements with public education.
safety agencies are tasked with addressing road user behavior through
public awareness, so they are uniquely positioned to educate people
about the safety benefits of engineering improvements and build support
for better roadway design," said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins
"While engineering solutions are vital, states and communities cannot
solely build their way out of the problem. These changes should be
accompanied by education and enforcement to be most effective."
report also outlines federal safety efforts, possible funding sources,
partner organizations, and a wide range of promising state and local
programs and policies that communities can use to encourage safer
behavior by all road users, whether traveling by bicycle, motor vehicle
or on foot.
This comprehensive report was authored
by traffic safety expert Pam Fischer, who has previously researched
safety topics for GHSA including teen driving, drowsy driving and
pedestrian safety. The data analysis was done by Richard Retting of Sam
Schwartz Transportation Consultants. An expert panel
of state and federal officials, researchers and bicycle safety
advocates served as advisors for the report. Access it and additional
resources here: http://www.ghsa.org/resources/bicyclist-safety2017