A recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association points out some very disturbing statistics regarding fatal bicycle accidents. The GHSA represents state transportation safety agencies and this report, authored by Allan Williams, is a cause for concern among its member agencies. The most disturbing fact was the news that the number of US bicyclist killed in traffic accidents actually increased in 2011 and 2012. Fortunately, there is an overall decline in cycling fatalities stretching back into the 1970s. The report noted that 722 American cyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012, an increase of 42 deaths over the 2011 statistics, and an increase of 101 over the 2010 reported cyclist deaths. This is an increase of 16% over those two years, and during that same time period, motor vehicle deaths increased by 1%.
The report found that most of the cyclist deaths considered in the three-year period of the study occurred in California, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois and Michigan. The author concluded that the states are high population states with many urban areas, and the statistics likely reflect a high level of bicycle exposure and interaction with motor vehicles. The report supported this conclusion, finding that 69% of 2012 deaths occurred in urban areas, and more than one in three occurred at intersections.