Hawaii Bicycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 94 traffic-related deaths in 2015 for Hawaii. Of those deaths, two (2) deaths were pedalcyclist fatalities. The bicycle accident fatalities represented 2. 1 percent of all traffic-related deaths that year. This was a decrease from four (4) pedalcyclist deaths in the state during 2014.
The Department of Health for Hawaii reports that approximately 1,200 nonfatal injuries to bicyclists occur each year. The number of non-fatal injuries appears to be increasing. Males comprised roughly three-fourths of the injury victims. Children between the ages of 5 to 14 years comprised almost one-third of the bicycle injury victims.
Hawaii Bicycle Helmet Laws
Only riders under the age of 16 years are required to wear a bicycle helmet in Hawaii.
What Measures Does Hawaii Take to Protect Cyclists?
Many people walk or ride bicycles throughout the state. Therefore, bicycle safety is a priority for several state agencies and departments. The state’s Department of Transportation Annual Highway Safety Report for 2015 reported that bicycle safety is a growing area of concern, specifically on Oahu.
During the five years from 2008 through 2012, there was a 25 percent increase in non-fatal bicycle injuries with more than 60 percent of the injuries occurring in the County and City of Honolulu. Therefore, the HPD initiated education and enforcement activities related to bicycle safety to educate riders and drivers about unsafe riding practices and state bicycle laws. The department issued 354 citations to drivers and bicyclists during the campaign.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Bike Plan incorporates the department’s goals and objectives for increasing bicycle safety throughout the state. The plan creates a guide for improving bicycling through a variety of channels. In addition to the plan, the HDOT provides information on its website regarding bicycling laws, registration, maps, and safety.
The Department of Health’s Injury Prevention Plan contains several recommendations to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety including:
- Support of “Complete Streets” policies in each county.
- Provide related data to support the implementation of Safe Routes to School programs in each county.
- Support complete streets training and educational opportunities for those involved in transportation areas.
Furthermore, there are several policies in the Hawaii Strategic Highway Safety Plan aimed at safeguarding bicyclists. Some of the policies include:
- Updating street design and zoning standards to support safety and facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians;
- Incorporate “Complete Streets” policies;
- Use lighting, crosswalk & intersection technology, signage, and control devices to increase visibility of walkers and riders;
- Improve data collection and dissemination;
- Upgrades and improvements to bike and pedestrian facilities;
- Reduce the number of drivers running red-lights;
- Revise and strengthen existing laws for bicycle and pedestrian-related matters;
- Increase enforcement of relevant laws;
- Develop media campaigns to promote safety and sharing of roads; and,
- Develop and support educational campaigns for student and adults.
The full list of initiates and goals, as well as the current status, can be viewed on the agency’s website.