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Is Bicycling Dangerous? Death Statistics

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Uploaded on Jul 16, 2010

In order to try to compare relative risk, I averaged the data from the last ten years.

I believe this will give a more accurate picture.

I used studies by other researchers to compare my findings.

Although, my numbers are not exactly the same as theirs, I used a different data set.

I am basing my numbers on a ten year estimated average US population of 295 million.

My data includes all riders of different ages and experience.

No one really knows for sure the number of bicyclist.

Bicycle statistics are particularly difficult to find.

I did my best to be fair and accurate.

I used the estimated number of bicycles from other sources when possible.

And, I estimated numbers by figuring percentages from years with known data.

For example, I estimated a 10 year average of 42.5 million bicycle riders averaging 566 miles each.

The average mileage was determined from 12 studies, which had enough information to determine average mileage. My own yearly average is 3000 miles. I know that some of you travel 10,000 miles per year. But, most bicycle riders do not ride their bicycles that many miles.

This gives an estimated total of 25.3 billion bicycle miles traveled. The average fatality rate over ten years is 716 bicyclist deaths per year. Divide the number of fatalities by the bicycle miles traveled and multiply by 100 million and you get 2.98 fatalities per 100 million bicycle miles traveled. I rounded it off to 3 to make it simple.


250 million motor vehicle drivers and passengers traveling an average of 10,000 miles per year.
and an average of 36,156 fatalities per year.

Good pedestrian data is even harder to find than bicycle statistics.
I used 180 million pedestrians traveling on average 107 miles each and 4850 fatalities.

There are approximately 5.5 million motorcyclists traveling on average 1950 miles and 3796 fatalities.

Yes, I am aware that there are over 300 million in the US.

And, I know that if you use data from only 1 year the numbers will be different.

Some fatality rates are increasing and some like for bicyclist are decreasing.

So, averaging a number of years seemed the best way for me to look at relative risk.




Listed below are some of the studies I used:

2008 Pedestrian Safety - Report to Congress - FHA & US DOT

2003 Study of Walking and Cycling - Pucher

2001 The Fatality Risk of Walking in America: A Time Based Comparative Approach

2002 National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors

2008 National Pedestrian Crash Report - NHTSA

National Safety Council

A Comparative Analysis of Bicycle Lanes Verus Wide Curb Lanes

2001 KKBP Bicycle Safety Study

1975 L.A.W. Study - Kaplan

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

1997 Moritz Survey of North American Bicycle Commuters

Summary of Travel Trends 2001 NHTS

2006 Perception of Safety and Risk taking in Cycling - Jones

2002 Florida DOT

1976 Bicycle Accidents an usage Among Young Adults - Schupack & Driessen

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