Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has appeared on legaladvice.com, themanifest.com, and vice.com.

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Apr 10, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • Since 2010, cyclist fatalities have increased by 25%
  • 13 of the most dangerous cities are in California, Texas, and Florida
  • Daylight savings time switches can have deadly consequences for cyclists

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% increase since 2010.

Cyclist fatalities increasing since 2010

In this article, we look at 77 cities to find the 20 most dangerous U.S. cities for cyclists. The genesis for this article started with two simple questions: Which cities were most dangerous for cyclists and why?

Increases in fatal bicycle accidents 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% 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% of all cyclist fatalities in the U.S., despite accounting for only 27% 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 bicycle 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.

Traffic deaths involving cyclists can increase car insurance rates for the entire area, even for drivers who haven’t been involved in those types of accidents, which may be confusing. Check out our car insurance guides where we take the confusing and make it simple.

You can also jump right in and get a quote by entering your ZIP code into our FREE online quote comparison tool. It’ll give the best rates for your area based on your information.

In addition to the ranking, we’ll cover how dangerous biking is in the city, the worst cities to cycle in, and the best countries to cycle in (this last part in the frequently asked questions section).

Now, keep reading to discover the full list of the most dangerous places in bicycle in America.

What are the 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

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#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

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#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

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#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

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#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

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#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

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#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

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Full Results for All U.S. Cities

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
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Frequently Asked Questions: Bicycling Danger and Popularity

Now that we’ve covered the 20 most dangerous U.S. cities for cyclists, let’s get to your frequently asked questions. They include:

  • Which is the most dangerous place for a bicyclist?
  • How dangerous is cycling?
  • Which city is known as the “City of Cycles?”

Scroll down for the answers to those questions and many more.

#1 – Which is the most dangerous place for a bicyclist?

In our study, our experts found that Cape Coral is the most dangerous place for a bicyclist with 1,333 bicyclist deaths per 100,000 residents. One number that jumps out from Cape Coral is the percentage of bicyclists that wear helmets: 0. That could contribute to higher bicyclist deaths.

#2 – Which US city has the most cyclists per capita?

Portland, Oregon, has the most cyclists per capita with 6.3% of commuters getting to work via bicycle.

#3 – Where do most bicycle fatalities occur?

Most bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas, with 75% of all bicycle fatalities occurring in urban areas compared to 25% occurring in rural areas.

#4 – How many cyclists die each year in the US?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 850 cyclists died in traffic accidents in 2018. This represented an increase of 6% compared to 2017.

#5 – How dangerous is cycling?

A National Travel Survey showed that on average there was one bicyclist fatality per nine million bike rides and that the risk of any injury was just 5% per 1,000 hours of cycling.

#6 – What is the bike capital of the world?

The Netherlands is known as the bike capital of the world with 20 million bicycles per population of 17 million people.

#7 – Which city is known as the City of Cycles?

Pune, a city in India, was known as the City of Cycles for a number of years before vehicles and motorcycles slowly took over the city. Today, although there have been government initiatives to promote biking, Pune is among the highest cities in India for vehicles per capita.

#8 – Which country is the most bicycle-friendly?

Denmark is seen by some as the country that is the most bicycle-friendly. It has huge networks of bike trails that go where even cars can’t and allow tourists and locals alike to explore the country while gaining exercise at the same time.

Methodology: Determining the 20 Most Dangerous Cities for Bicyclists

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.

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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% of cycling fatalities between 2014-2017 involved victims over the age of 45.

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

Bike fatalities by age and location

Despite rising the rate of fatal bicycle accidents, there are many things that can be done at the individual level to improve cycling safety. According to NHTSA, bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by 85%.

Interestingly, only about 16% 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 motor vehicles or in existing bike lanes) can reduce the risk of collision or bicycle-related injuries. In addition, reducing distractions such as texting can make cycling a safer mode of transportation.

Cycling deaths can cause car insurance rates to rise, even if you weren’t involved in the accident. Get the best car insurance rate by entering your ZIP code into our FREE online quote generator.