District of Columbia Bicycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states there were 23 traffic-related fatalities in the District of Columbia for 2015, including one (1) bicyclist death. The most recent DC Traffic Crash Statistics report provides the following information for bicycle accidents in DC:
- 652 bicycle collisions in 2013
- 863 bicycle collisions in 2014
- 679 bicycle collisions from January through August 23, 2015
- By far, the majority of bicyclists involved in accidents during those years were within the age group of 21 to 30 years of age
- Males were involved in bicycle crashes in approximately three-fourths of the crashes each year
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, an average of 2,600 bicyclists and pedestrians are injured, and 89 are killed each year in the Washington Metropolitan area.
Bicycle Helmet Laws in DC
Everyone under the age of 16 years must wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bike within the District.
What is the District of Columbia Doing to Keep Bicyclists Safe?
The Toward Zero Deaths program reports that some of the safety initiatives in DC designed to promote safety for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians include:
- Countdown signals have been installed at 95 percent of the DC intersections, more than any other city in the United States.
- Thousands of children receive training and education on bike safety each year.
- The Metro Police Department targets drivers along high crash corridors twice a year as part of the Street Smart enforcement campaign.
The Street Smart campaign is held twice a year to promote public awareness and increased law enforcement efforts to respond to the safety challenges of bicyclists and pedestrians in DC, Virginia, and Maryland. In addition, the DC has several programs and resources available to riders to help keep them safe on DC streets including:
- Over 50 miles of bicycle lanes with plans to install additional bicycle lanes throughout the District
- Bicycle laws and regulations to promote safe bicycling
- Updated bicycle maps that include Capital Bikeshare stations, safety information, and new bike lanes
- Bicycle parking throughout DC including a bike station at Union Station
- BikeBrand Your Biz is a program that offers support and resources to businesses within the District to promote alternative forms of transportation
- Capital Bikeshare has 218 stations throughout the city with 2,000 bicycles available
- Safe Routes to School promotes safety for children as they ride their bicycle to and from school
Bicycle Ambassadors ride around the city handing out information and maps. These ambassadors promote bicycle safety, encourage residents and visitors to try bicycling, and model safe riding behaviors. The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) also provides classes to teach adults of all skill levels how to navigate the city streets safely. It also promotes community rides and classes targeted at family bicycling, first-time adult riders, and city cycling.
The District of Columbia is committed to making bicycling a safe and enjoyable form of transportation.