2015 Maryland Bicycle Accident Statistics
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) reports that bicyclists or other pedalcyclists were involved in 841 crashes in 2015. From 2011 through 2015, there was an average of 782 bicycle crashes per year in Maine. During 2015, the state had 10 fatal, 678 injuries, and 153 property damage bicycle accidents. Eleven (11) people died, and 712 people were injured in crashes that year. Except for 2013, bicycle accident fatalities more than doubled in 2015 during the past five years.
Maine Bicycle Helmet Laws
Maine has a state law that requires riders under the age of 16 years to wear a bicycle helmet. However, there are also several local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets, mostly based on age.
Efforts to Increase Safety for Bicyclists
Crashes involving bicyclists have been increasing in Maryland, according to the 2017 Maryland Bicycle Safety Program Area Brief. The brief also states that injuries are common in bicycle crashes, crashes occur more in metropolitan areas, and the number of crashes is higher in warmer months. Bicycles are considered vehicles in Maryland; therefore, riders have the same rights to use the road as motorists, subject to traffic laws. The traffic rules related to bicycles can be found in the Maryland Transportation Code §21-1201.
The state has several safety programs including:
- Look Up, Look Out — A media campaign to raise awareness of bicyclists, including increased law enforcement and safety ambassadors in high priority areas.
- Street Smart Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign — The campaign combines public outreach, coordinated enforcement efforts, and media campaigns.
- Bicycle Safety Law Enforcement Video Training — A training video for law enforcement agencies and officers on traffic enforcement for bicyclist safety.
- Bike-Minded Project/ Bicycle Safety Ambassadors — An outreach program targeting high-risk areas in the Baltimore City area that promotes bicycle safety.
Maryland’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan
In addition to the various campaigns and initiatives, the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan also includes sections relevant to bike riders. The plan has a goal of reducing the number of people killed in bicycle accidents to five or less by the end of 2010. It also calls for a reduction in serious injuries from bicycle accidents to 52 or fewer by the end of 2020. To reach these goals, the Pedestrians and Bicyclists EA Team will:
- Identify safety issues;
- Analyze and evaluate relevant data;
- Promote safe behaviors through education and enforcement;
- Improve roadway environments for bicyclists and pedestrians;
- Improve the safety culture in Maryland for pedestrians and bicyclists;
- Develop and apply technological approaches to prevent and reduce the severity of crashes; and
- Promote safe driving for all motorists.
A full copy of the plan can be found on the MVA’s website.