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Old Posted Feb 8, 2021, 9:54 PM
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What We Learned from Tracking Cycling Deaths for a Year


- With the help of the nonprofit, we analyzed the data we collected on bicyclists killed by drivers in 2020 and found some surprising takeaways. --- We found that fatal crashes were occurring all over the country. We recorded deaths in 47 states and nearly every major metropolitan area.

Here is what we hope local and federal governments will do to address the unacceptable number of cyclists and pedestrians dying on our streets:

Devote serious resources toward protected bike lanes and intersections. Separating cyclists from pedestrian and vehicle traffic is crucial to keeping everyone on our streets safer. One study found that cities with protected bike lanes cited higher safety records for all road users. Unlike standard bike lanes, protected bike lanes provide a physical barrier (such as a curb, raised bump, or delineator posts) between the bike lane and the vehicle roadway. City planners should also connect preexisting bike lanes to establish a more efficient flow of traffic and prevent cyclists from riding on roads with no bike infrastructure.

Incorporate a car’s potential risk to cyclists and pedestrians with vehicle-safety ratings. The work of the Obama administration to revise the NCAP to address pedestrian and cyclist safety was a step in the right direction, but it must be continued. It’s important for drivers to understand how a vehicle they’re about to purchase could injure another person in a crash.

Improve education for drivers. People behind the wheel may not fully realize the risk they take when driving distracted or tired. In 2017, the NHTSA estimated that 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. Driver’s ed schools should include mandatory lessons on distracted or tired driving.

Incentivize cycling. Cycling, in addition to being a great form of exercise, also makes a city cleaner and healthier. Many companies have encouraged their employees to bike more by giving them bikes or paying employees to ride to work instead of driving. Coupled with better bike infrastructure, incentivization programs like the 1993 Bicycle Subsidy Benefit Program, which offered reimbursements on biking expenses for cyclists, would get more people motivated to travel this way.


Number of Cyclists Killed by Drivers in 2020: 697

Percentage of Deaths That Were Hit-and-Runs

States with the Most Total Deaths Per 1 Million

Deaths by Location

Deaths by Road Type

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