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Bicycle Accidents and Helmet Statistics

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Posted on March 21, 2014

In South Florida, bicycle accidents occur at a relatively high rate. Central and southern Florida’s major metropolitan areas are among the nation’s most dangerous areas when it comes to fatal bicycle accidents. A few different causes are common among many accidents between bicyclists and motor vehicles.

Bicycle helmet awareness has been a growing topic of discussion in recent decades. Most safety experts strongly support the use of helmets by cyclists at all times. The majority of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) stemming from bicycle accidents occur when helmets are not worn.

Sadly, many of these accidents involving head injuries result in permanent brain damage or even death. Bicycle helmets have been statistically proven to decrease the frequency and severity of traumatic brain injuries and death among bicyclists.

Bicycle Helmets and Accidents – Facts and Statistics

The following statistics pertain to bicycle helmets, head injuries, and helmet effectiveness:

  • In 2010, 616 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents. 429 were not wearing helmets at the time of the fatal accidents.
    726 bicyclists died on US roads in 2011.
  • The average age of a bicyclist killed on US roads is 43.
  • Nearly one fourth (23%) of the cyclists killed were drunk.
  • One drink increases a bicyclist’s probability of serious injury or death by a factor of six.
  • Four or five drinks increase the probability by a factor of 20.
  • Fatal crashes typically were urban and not at intersections.
  • Helmet use among those bicyclists with serious injuries was low (13%), but it was even lower among bicyclists killed (3%).
  • Only one fatal crash with a motor vehicle occurred when a bicyclist was in a marked bike lane.
  • At least 75% of all bicyclists who die in accidents each year die from traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
  • Each year, an estimated 67,000 cyclists visit an emergency room because of an accident-related head injury.
    A cyclist not wearing a helmet is 14 times more likely to die in a bicycle accident.
  • One cyclist is killed in a traffic accident every six hours in the United States.
  • According to the National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior, only 50 percent of cyclists wear their helmets occasionally, while only 35 percent wear their helmets at all times.
  • Nearly 60 percent of all childhood bicycle-related deaths occur on minor roads. The typical bicycle/motor vehicle crash occurs within 1 mile of the bicyclist’s home.
  • Among children ages 14 and under, more than 80% of bicycle-related fatalities are associated with the bicyclist’s behavior, including riding into a street without stopping, turning left or swerving into traffic that is coming from behind, running a stop sign, and riding against the flow of traffic.
  • Bicycle helmets have proven to reduce the risk of head injury and the risk of brain injury.
  • Bicycle helmets have also proven to offer substantial protection to the forehead and mid-face areas.