Bicycle riders in Oklahoma should be concerned about the results of a new study. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) has revealed that the number of bicyclist deaths is at a level not seen since 1975. As a result, they are urging all bike riders to review basic safety rules. Doing so could save more than a few lives this year.
The number of cyclist fatalities is increasing
Personal injury experts have also gone on record to say that the number of cases they are dealing with is out of the ordinary. The number of bike riders killed on the road in 2019 was listed as 858. But by the very next year, that number had risen to 948. Numbers for the years since are expected to show a similar rise in cyclist deaths.
Data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau data tends to paint an even grimmer picture. The report shows 2.7 fatal bicycle crashes on average for every million U.S. residents. This study only covers the years 2017-2021. The total number of deaths was up 5 percent from 2012-2016 and has increased since.
Fatal crashes involving bicycle riders happen in every state. Crashes resulting in death tended to occur mostly in urban areas. However, bicyclist deaths in rural areas have declined by 40 percent. This does not mean that all roads in rural areas are safe. Many of them still fail to feature proper bicycle lanes.
Can safety measures help to reduce deaths?
Motor vehicle accidents have long been a major source of concern for traffic and safety experts. Many road safety experts have pointed to the lack of proper safety measures observed by bike riders and motor vehicle operators alike.
The NHTSA has gone on record recommending car, truck and SUV drivers to look out for bike riders in their blind spots. They have also urged bicyclists to wear protective safety gear. These and other measures may help reduce the number of cyclist deaths.