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NHTSA Figures Show Increase in Bicycle Fatalities in 2011

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its final bicycle accident numbers for 2011, and the numbers show that there was a spike in fatalities that year.

The report includes bicyclists as well as other cyclists, who are all grouped in a common category of “pedal-cyclists” in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. The pedal-cyclist category includes not just bicyclists, but also unicyclists, and riders of other non-motorized bicycles.

According to the data, in 2011, there were 677 such pedal-cyclist fatalities in accidents across the country. Additionally, there were at least 48,000 injuries involving pedal-cyclists. In fact, these fatalities accounted for approximately 2% of all auto accident fatalities in the country. They also accounted for 2% of accident-related injuries.
Overall, the number of such bicyclists and other types of cyclists killed in 2011 was an increase of 9% over the figures in 2010. In the previous year, there had been 623 pedal-cyclist fatalities.

According to the data, most of these bicycle accident fatalities or approximately 30% occurred in the evening hours between 4 PM and 8 PM. Night time was also dangerous for bicyclists, with 21% of the fatalities occurring between 8 PM and midnight. The fewest number of fatalities occurred between midnight and 4 AM, and that is because there are few bicyclists out riding at that time.

The safety climate for bicyclists in California and around the country continues to be dangerous. California bicycle accident lawyers would encourage all bicyclists to wear helmets every time they ride, and wear highly visible clothing so that they are visible in traffic. Avoid riding at night as much as possible, and if you have to ride at night, stick reflective tape to your helmets, clothing and your bicycle.

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