Cyclists, Beware: Bike Deaths Take Big Jump
Rise 8.7% in 2011
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2012 5:10 PM CST
This October 2011 photo released by Tim McCarthy shows Paula Froke, of New York, riding along the Embarcadero in San Francisco during a Streets of San Francisco bike tour.   (AP Photo/Tim McCarthy)

(Newser) – Last year was a good year for road warriors—so long as they were on four wheels, not two. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today released its analysis of 2011 traffic deaths, and overall fatalities sank 1.9% to 32,367, outpacing the 1.2% drop in the number of miles driven by motorists. But while deaths tied to passenger vehicles sank 4.6%, bicycle deaths took an 8.7% jump, from 623 in 2010 to 677.

A highway expert attributes the rise to the increase in people commuting to work or biking for fun. The AP puts some stats behind the assumption, noting that Washington, DC, has seen a 175% increase in rush-hour bicyclists since 2004. In other two-wheel news, motorcycle deaths also rose. The 2.1% jump marked the 13th time in the last 14 years that there has been an increase.

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Showing 3 of 43 comments
Dec 11, 2012 8:25 PM CST
it demonstrates legislators are completely out of touch with reality. pedestrians and bicyclists should never be told they have the right of way. that feeling of entitlement breeds a lack of fear and increases deaths.
Dec 11, 2012 1:25 PM CST
I'd like to ask everyone if Bikes weren't considered vehicles and have to follow the Vehicle code of a particular state if it would be safer to ride Bikes against traffic for the same reasons you walk against traffic. It seems like the advantages are numerous.......being able to see what's coming at you as an example. I'd be interested in everyones comments. Thanks!
Dec 11, 2012 8:52 AM CST
At least people are starting to ride bikes more...