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

FREE Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Attorneyhttps://www.carinsurance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/jeffrey-johnson.jpg

UPDATED: Apr 3, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

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.Cyclist fatalities increasing 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. These states also are some of the worst states for fatal crashes during a time period that affects many cyclists: daylight saving time switches.

Map showing cyclist death rates higher in southeast

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

USA, Florida, Miami, Traffic jam on bridge

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Phoenix Arizona USA - Phoenix evening city view with mountain in the background

Alamy Stock Photo

#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.


Beaches and skyline of the waterfront of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Almond Blossoms in Modesto California one of the water hungry crops of California's Central Valley

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
San Antonio, Texas, USA skyline

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Devon Energy Tower in Oklahoma City

Alamy Stock Photo

#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.


Rural road in southern Louisiana with signpost to Breaux Bridge and Lafayette

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Texas Rangers Baseball Stadium in Arlington, Texas

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA skyline

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
The intersection of California State Highways 46 and 41, where actor James Dean died in a car accident in the 1950s

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
a line of palm trees in front of a Floridian Sunset

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Memphis skyline at Sunrise with Mississippi River

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA skyline from Louisiana State Capitol.

Alamy Stock Photo

#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.


View while eating at Garlic Brothers Restaurant in Stockton, CA

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Beautiful sunset between two silhouetted trees in a bayside park, Chula Vista, California, USA

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Waterfront buildings in Pompano Beach, Florida, United States

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Evening in Dayton across Great Miami River. Dayton, Ohio, USA.

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
The view over San Bernardino from Hwy 18 on a clear, hot summer's day in Los Angeles, California, USA

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
The historic 1914 Taylor County courthouse in Abilene Texas in Classical Revival style.

Alamy Stock Photo

#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
Sunrise from Jaycee Park, Cape Coral, FL

Alamy Stock Photo

#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 was not reported.

Bike fatalities by age and location

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.

cyclists speeding on urban road in racing cycle race

Alamy Stock Photo

Chart Showing All Study Results

City & StateAnnual Bike Fatalities (per 100K Commuters)Annual Bike Fatalities (per 1M Residents)Total Bike Fatalities (Last 4 Years)Share of fatalities where cyclist wore a helmetNumber of Bike CommutersCity PopulationRank
Cape Coral, Florida1333.36.040%75173,6791
Abilene, Texas1116.110.050%112122,7622
San Bernardino, California577.68.0714%303215,2523
Dayton, Ohio458.77.0425%218140,9394
Pompano Beach, Florida416.716.070%420107,5425
Chula Vista, California358.25.050%349264,1016
Stockton, California3277.090%688304,3587
Baton Rouge, Louisiana3199.080%627227,5498
Memphis, Tennessee308.63.070%567654,7239
Lakeland, Florida298.510.0425%335104,16510
Bakersfield, California2936.090%768372,68011
Charlotte, North Carolina266.93.0911%843826,06012
Arlington, Texas261.83.040%382388,22513
Lafayette, Louisiana251.414.070%696126,47614
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma249.62.060%601629,19115
San Antonio, Texas242.52.0138%13401,461,62316
Modesto, California238.75.040%419210,16617
Fort Lauderdale, Florida204.114.0100%1225177,17518
Phoenix, Arizona201.47.04112%50901,574,42119
Miami, Florida1939.0160%2073443,00720
Spokane, Washington189.16.0540%661212,98221
Jersey City, New Jersey187.34.040%534265,93222
Wilmington, North Carolina186.611.050%670115,26123
Jacksonville, Florida182.74.0157%2052867,31324
Wichita, Kansas181.23.040%552389,05425
Las Vegas, Nevada179.43.0813%1115621,66226
Santa Ana, California177.17.0100%1412334,49327
Riverside, California176.85.0729%990321,57028
Garden Grove, California173.96.040%575174,81229
Saint Louis, Missouri166.96.0813%1198314,86730
Clearwater, Florida163.811.050%763112,79431
Springfield, Missouri159.56.040%627165,78532
Reno, Nevada158.46.0617%947239,73233
Tampa, Florida153.610.0147%2278368,08734
Louisville, Kentucky149.83.0714%1168615,47835
Gilbert, Arizona148.44.0425%674232,17636
Virginia Beach, Virginia140.44.0813%1425450,05737
Mesa, Arizona138.96.01118%1980479,31738
Fort Worth, Texas128.91.040%776835,12939
Indianapolis, Indiana123.93.0100%2018853,43140
Grand Rapids, Michigan1206.050%1042195,35541
Orlando, Florida117.44.040%852269,41442
Sacramento, California11610.0205%4310489,65043
Detroit, Michigan113.13.080%1768679,86544
Houston, Texas110.13.0244%54512,267,33645
Durham, North Carolina109.14.040%917257,23246
Anaheim, California99.83.040%1002349,00747
Huntington Beach, California97.57.060%1539200,41548
Colorado Springs, Colorado95.33.0540%1311450,00049
Savannah, Georgia92.79.0540%1349145,09450
Saint Petersburg, Florida92.16.060%1628256,03151
Buffalo, New York83.54.040%1197259,57452
Fresno, California82.13.0617%1826519,03753
San Jose, California77.33.0140%45271,023,03154
Columbus, Ohio73.93.0911%3043852,14455
Sunnyvale, California71.17.040%1407151,56556
Los Angeles, California69.34.05812%209123,949,77657
New Orleans, Louisiana66.910.0157%5604388,18258
Albuquerque, New Mexico61.44.090%3663556,71859
Tucson, Arizona51.37.01414%6826530,90560
Charleston, South Carolina48.98.040%2044131,20461
Gainesville, Florida44.310.0520%2821129,39462
New York, New York38.82.07412%477018,560,07263
Ann Arbor, Michigan388.040%2635119,30364
Milwaukee, Wisconsin37.52.040%2664599,08665
Austin, Texas33.92.090%6636916,90666
Denver, Colorado30.94.01010%8083678,46767
San Diego, California28.51.0825%70111,390,96668
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania27.52.0150%136411,569,65769
Chicago, Illinois27.42.0244%219002,722,58670
Boston, Massachusetts202.060%7500669,15871
Oakland, California16.72.040%5994417,44272
Minneapolis, Minnesota15.94.0633%9433411,45273
Seattle, Washington14.23.0825%14096688,24574
San Francisco, California14.23.01146%19317864,26375
Portland, Oregon10.34.0933%21781630,33176
Washington, District Of Columbia7.72.0520%16314672,39177

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your One-Stop Online Car Insurance Guide. Get a Free Quote Now!