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The 20 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities for Cyclists [+Death Totals]

The 20 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities for Cyclists [+Death Totals]

Commuters looking to reduce their environmental footprint may want to think twice about safety before hopping on a bike. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of cyclist deaths has been rapidly increasing over the past several years. In 2017 alone, there were 783 cyclist fatalities nationwide, a 25 percent increase since 2010.

Increases in cyclist fatalities have occurred alongside increases in bike share programs and the number of cyclists commuting to work. In 2017, there were nearly 800,000 commuters nationwide who rode their bicycles to work, representing 0.5 percent of all commuters. While the share of bike commuters has remained steady in recent years, the fatality rate per 100,000 bike commuters is at a ten-year high.
Although cyclist fatalities have been on the rise nationwide, the risk varies widely by location.

Between 2014 and 2017, California, Florida, and Texas, were responsible for about 41 percent of all cyclist fatalities in the U.S., despite accounting for only 27 percent of the population.
When comparing fatality rates (per commuter or per resident), the most dangerous areas are clustered in the Southeastern U.S. Despite warmer weather, these states also report below-average rates of bike commuters—possibly the result of dangerous riding conditions.
With the rise of bike share programs and an increased emphasis on more environmentally friendly modes of transportation, cycling is likely to continue growing in popularity, especially in major cities. To identify which cities are most dangerous for cyclists, our researchers here at CarInsurance.org analyzed fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System for the period 2014-2017, as well as population data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
They ranked cities by the number of bike fatalities per 100,000 bike commuters. Only cities with at least one cyclist fatality per year and at least 100,000 residents were included in the analysis. Consistent with the findings at the state level, 13 of the 20 most dangerous cities for cyclists are in Florida, California, or Texas.

Keep reading to discover the full list of the most dangerous cities for biking in the United States.

Top 20 Most Dangerous Cities for Cyclists

#20 - Miami, Florida

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 193
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 9.0
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 16
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 2,073
Population: 443,007

#19 - Phoenix, Arizona

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 201
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 6.5
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 41
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 12%
Number of bike commuters: 5,090
Population: 1,574,421

DID YOU KNOW?
Making smart choices behind the wheel can be both safer and cheaper. Learn driver safety tips and how to save money on gas here at CarInsurance.org.

#18 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 204
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 14.1
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 10
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 1,225
Population: 177,175

#17 - Modesto, California

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 239
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 4.8
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 4
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 419
Population: 210,166

#16 - San Antonio, Texas

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 243
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 2.2
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 13
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 8%
Number of bike commuters: 1,340
Population: 1,461,623

#15 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 250
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 2.4
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 6
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 601
Population: 629,191

TRENDING
Do you have to call the police after an accident? Learn about this and other driving laws and tips here at CarInsurance.org.

#14 - Lafayette, Louisiana

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 251
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 13.8
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 7
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 696
Population: 126,476

#13 - Arlington, Texas

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 262
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 2.6
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 4
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 382
Population: 388,225

#12 - Charlotte, North Carolina

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 267
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 2.7
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 9
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 11%
Number of bike commuters: 843
Population: 826,060

#11 - Bakersfield, California

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 293
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 6.0
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 9
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 768
Population: 372,680

#10 - Lakeland, Florida

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 299
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 9.6
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 4
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 25%
Number of bike commuters: 335
Population: 104,165

#9 - Memphis, Tennessee

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 309
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 2.7
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 7
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 567
Population: 654,723

#8 - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 319
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 8.8
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 8
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 627
Population: 227,549

RELATED
Our researchers at CarInsurance.org recently published one of the internet’s most comprehensive insurance resource centers. It includes agent and broker reviews, company financial ratings, guides, regulatory information, and more.

#7 - Stockton, California

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 327
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 7.4
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 9
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 688
Population: 304,358

#6 - Chula Vista, California

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 358
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 4.7
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 5
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 349
Population: 264,101

#5 - Pompano Beach, Florida

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 417
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 16.3
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 7
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 420
Population: 107,542

#4 - Dayton, Ohio

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 459
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 7.1
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 4
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 25%
Number of bike commuters: 218
Population: 140,939

#3 - San Bernardino, California

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 578
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 8.1
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 7
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 14%
Number of bike commuters: 303
Population: 215,252

#2 - Abilene, Texas

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 1,116
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 10.2
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 5
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 112
Population: 122,762

#1 - Cape Coral, Florida

Annual bike fatalities per 100K commuters: 1,333
Annual bike fatalities per 1M residents: 5.8
Total bike fatalities (last 4 years): 4
Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmet: 0%
Number of bike commuters: 75
Population: 173,679

Methodology & Detailed Findings
Cyclist fatality statistics were obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System for the period 2014-2017. Population statistics, including total city population and age distribution, as well as cyclist commuting rates, were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

The cities in this analysis were ranked according to the cyclist fatality rate.
Cyclist fatality rates were calculated as the average number of cyclist fatalities in the city for the period 2014-2017 per 100,000 estimated cycling commuters in 2017.
All cities included in the final list had a population of at least 100,000, as well as at least one cyclist death per year.

A closer look at the data yields additional insights into fatal cycling accidents. For example, adults over 45 are more likely to be involved in a fatal bicycling accident than younger people. More specifically, nearly 60 percent of cycling fatalities between 2014-2017 involved victims over the age of 45.

Furthermore, more than 60 percent of fatal bike accidents occur outside of intersections on open roads. In 38 percent of fatal bike accidents, the motorist was at fault. By contrast, the cyclist was deemed to be at fault only 31 percent of the time. In the remaining cases, fault was unknown or not reported.

Despite rising cyclist fatality rates, there are many things that can be done at the individual level to improve cycling safety. According to NHTSA, bike helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent.

Interestingly, only about 16 percent of cyclists involved in fatal accidents were known to be wearing helmets. For cyclists, wearing a helmet and adhering to traffic rules (such as riding in the same direction as cars) can reduce the risk of collision or fatal injury. In addition, reducing distractions such as texting can make cycling a safer mode of transportation.

Chart Showing All Study Results

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How have cars gotten safer in the past 40 years?

How have cars gotten safer in the past 40 years?

It is estimated that over 87 percent of people wear their seat belts. Laws require babies and young children to have the proper seat restraint, and children under the age of 12 cannot sit in the front seat. However, it wasn’t always this way.

Over the past 40 years, several modifications have been made to cars and new laws and practices have been introduced. Other technological advances that have been made, such as GPS have revolutionized the way that we get around today. We interviewed car experts to find help us put together a comprehensive timeline of the past 40 years. Let’s take a look at the timeline and see how far we have come:
The 1980s
1984: “New York State passed the first U.S. law requiring seat belt use in passenger cars. Seat belt laws have since been adopted by 49 states (New Hampshire has not). NHTSA estimates the resulting increased seat belt use saves 10,000 lives per year in the United States.” – Lauren Fix, the Car Coach

1985 - 1998: The NHTSA (National HighwayTraffic Safety Administration) began using crash test dummies in vehicles and slamming them at high speeds in cement walls.
"They would videotape these crash tests and televise them countrywide to scare people into wearing their seat belts. Since then, many states will ticket you if you aren't wearing your seat belt.” - Ethan Lichtenberg, research expert here at CarInsurance.org.
These ads portrayed Vince and Larry, crash test dummy characters. The ad used humor and the negative examples of Vince and Larry to help viewers understand the importance of wearing a seat belt. Often, the punchline was that they didn’t wear their seat belts because they were “dummies.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANAlT4pjRDI

1986: “The central third brake light was mandated in North America with most of the world following with similar standards in automotive lighting.” – Lauren Fix

Congress enacted the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Act in order to reduce motor vehicle theft. They provided simple steps to follow in order to help with this.

Park in a well-lit area
Take your keys with you
Close and lock all windows and doors when you park
Never leave valuables in your vehicle

The 1990s
1991: We Have a Little Emergency (W.H.A.L.E) was implemented. W.H.A.L.E requires drivers with children in the car to place stickers on both of the rear windows of their vehicle so that, in the case of a wreck, emergency personnel can identify that there is a child if the parent is not able to tell them.

1993: The NHTSA implemented the 5-Star Safety Rating Program so that consumers would be better informed on how safe certain vehicles were. A vehicle that received a five-star rating was the safest.

1995: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) began frontal offset crash tests. Also in the same year, Volvo introduced the world's first car with side airbags.

1999: Dual airbags were required by the Federal Government, one for the driver and the passenger.

The 2000s
2000: The NHTSA instituted a new regulation, making trunk releases mandatory for new cars by September of the following year. They also made it mandatory for vehicle manufacturers to report safety recalls and information on injury or death related to their products.

2003: The IIHS began conducting side-impact crash tests.
The “Click it or Ticket” campaign went National.
2004: NHTSA released new tests designed to test the rollover risk of new cars and SUVs. Only the Mazda RX-8 got a five-star rating.

2007: Electronic Stability Control is introduced which uses computer-controlled braking to individual wheels to help drivers keep control of their car. Between 2008 to 2018, the NHTSA estimated that this advancement saved 2,202 lives.

2009: NHTSA upgraded its roof-crush standard for vehicles weighing 6,000 pounds or less. The new standard increased the crush load requirement from 1.5 to 3 times the vehicle's curb weight.
The 2010s
2010: The statistics on every vehicle produced in the United States were made available to determine the safety of vehicles. This leads to car manufacturers making safer cars so they can shoot to the top of this list.

2012: All cars under 10,000 lbs sold in the United States are required to have Electronic Stability Control.

2014: ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) were introduced, which also added the driver seat belt reminder.
What’s in store for the future?

Today, we have more technological advances available in cars than we have ever had before. Items such as V2V, which is in the test phase, will provide Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication with the hopes of reducing accidents. This technology will send information to nearby other cars about speed, location, and direction.
Self-driving cars are also being tested, with Tesla leading the pack with their model Y releasing in 2020.
This will help with the growing number of fatal crashes each year that are caused by distracted driving. Who knows what will be possible with cars in the next 40 years?

Guest Author:
Riley Clark is a marketing writer for BestCompany.com. She specializes in car warranties and mortgages.

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If I crash my motorcycle on debris left in the road, who pays?

If I crash my motorcycle on debris left in the road, who pays?

It’s no secret that insurance can get a bit complicated. Perhaps one of the most complicated areas of insurance is determining who is responsible for paying for damages when accidents occur. A lot of times the answer is cut and dry, but other times it isn’t so simple.
One of the areas where insurance can get a little complicated is when a wreck is caused by debris on the road, more specifically when a motorcycle wrecks on debris in the road.
No matter how vigilant or careful you ride, some accidents are unavoidable. Even with all of the modern motorcycle safety features, accidents still occur. So if you hit debris in the road and wreck your motorcycle, who pays? Let’s take a look at four scenarios and see what type of insurance coverage will likely be footing the bill.

Let’s jump straight into the first scenario!

#1 - Truck Litters Roadway with Debris
With all of the trash being hauled up and down the roads each day, it’s no surprise that sometimes it falls into the road from time to time. Whether it’s construction debris, limbs from a downed tree, or trash being transported, these objects can pose risks to unsuspecting motorcyclists.

The Scenario- Here’s the scenario. You are riding your motorcycle behind a truck hauling debris that isn’t properly covered. While you are behind the truck, some debris falls out of the truck and causes you to wreck your motorcycle.

Who Pays? According to Personal Injury Law, if the debris was not secured properly, the damage would be covered under the truck driver’s auto insurance policy. Alternatively, if it was a work or construction vehicle, their business liability or umbrella insurance may cover the incident.

In either scenario, whether the offending driver is distracted, or simply doesn't notice what happened behind them, it is unlikely they will stop. So you will want to collect any information you can immediately, which may be difficult if there are no witnesses.

But what if you don’t know where the debris came from? Then you will have to check out scenario two.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK09nGUhKr8
#2 - Debris Left By Unknown Source
Debris on the roadway can be caused by a lot of things. Trees drop their leaves in the fall. Branches break in a storm and fall into the road. And of course, as with the previous scenario, a truck’s uncovered litter can fly out. The list truly goes on and on. Of course, leaving debris such as grass on the road is illegal, but unfortunately, that doesn’t stop it from happening.

The Scenario - You are riding down the road on your motorcycle. As you round a turn, you strike debris in the road, causing you to lose traction and wreck. Unlike the first scenario, you don’t know who left the debris, or whether it was a natural occurrence. Either way, there is no responsible party to be found.

Who Pays? If you strike debris on the roadway, and can’t determine the source or the source is natural, you will have to turn to your own auto insurance or Med Pay will cover the bill.

#3 - Company Leaves Debris on the Road
In the previous two scenarios, we looked at incidents where a vehicle left debris on the road. What if a company deposits debris into the road, but this time it’s not dropped from a vehicle? What type of insurance will foot the bill then? Let’s take a look.

The Scenario - This scenario can occur in several ways. Perhaps it’s lawn clippings blown into the road by a landscaping company. Or maybe a construction company puts trash on the road or curb for pick up. Either way, the debris causes you to wreck your motorcycle.

Who Pays? In this scenario, if negligence is proven, a claim would go against the company’s liability or umbrella insurance.
#4 - Homeowner Leaves Debris on the Road
This one is quick, but the insurance is very specific, and it’s worth mentioning. Let’s look at a slight variation of scenario three.

The Scenario - In this scenario, debris is left on the road again as in scenario three. However, this time the debris is left in the road by the resident of the home itself.

Who Pays? In this instance, it will be the resident’s renters or homeowner’s insurance covering the cost.

What’s the bottom line?
Even the most avid motorcycle collectors can be easily overwhelmed by all of the nuances posed by insurance coverage. Hopefully, these four scenarios will simplify the situation a bit.
It should be noted that anytime you wreck your bike on debris in the road you can turn to your own insurance for coverage. Additionally, negligence will also have to be proven to determine the fault of an offending party. But that is a different article entirely!
However, you should always try avoiding an insurance claim and potentially raising your rates. It only makes sense to do so. If you have any more questions about a motorcycle or car insurance, be sure to search for other topics on this website.

Author Bio: Douglas Dedrick is a landscaper with over a decade of experience and a writer on several topics including lawn care, landscaping, and law. Connect with him or read more at Healing Law.

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