Rhode Island Fatal Bicycle Accidents
Rhode Island ranks among the safe states for bicyclists in the US. Its per capita rank as far as bike fatalities are concerned is 34th. The annual average deaths per million state residents are 1.3, and there has been a downward trend as far as biking fatalities are concerned – two in 2010 and zero in 2011.
In comparison, Florida’s rate is 5.7 deaths per one million residents. In 2010, there were 83 deadly bike crashes, and their number went up to 126 in 2011. As a result, the state tops the chart.
Authorities in Rhode Island have carried out numerous initiatives in an attempt to increase biking safety. Their efforts seem to be paying off. Accidents haven’t been eliminated altogether, but the number of fatalities remains low.
Fatal Biking Accident Statistics
According to the Rhode Island Highway Safety Plan for 2014, the number of bike accidents has decreased significantly in the period from 2006 to 2010. Unfortunately, an increase was registered in 2011 – the serious injuries grew from 11 to 33.
The number of fatalities in biking crashes was zero in 2009, two in 2010 and zero in 2011. The total number of bicycle crashes during the year was slightly over 300, which ranks the state below the national average for the US.
To look at things in perspective, it’s a good idea to examine the bicycle-involving fatalities as a percentage of all the deaths on the road. In 2010, bicycle fatalities contributed to three percent of all deaths on the road. The percentage was the same in 2012.
Comparison to US Averages
While there is some room for improvement, the state under examination is among the top performers in the US as far as cyclist safety goes.
According to the US National Highway Safety Administration, 818 cyclists were killed throughout the US in 2015. The number is up from the 729 deaths in 2014. In addition, 45,000 cyclists have been injured in crashes.
It’s interesting to point out that overall crash deaths have been going down (from 42,708 in 2006 to 35,092 in 2015) while the deadly collisions involving bicyclists have been on the rise.
In 2014 and the years since the state has carried out a number of initiatives aimed at increasing biking safety.
In 2014, a safety initiative was carried out to distribute helmets among cyclists and encourage safe behaviors on the road. Additionally, Rhode Island invests in biking safety classes at school, the distribution of informative materials and police bike patrol training.
The state also invests in biking infrastructure to enhance the safety of individuals who prefer this commute method. According to a map of the statewide bicycle system for 2017, 67.43 miles of bike paths were completed and opened, and the length of bike paths under design is approximately 10 miles.
The total length of bike lanes in 2017 was 10.39 miles, and statewide bicycle route signing totaled 102.3 miles.
In addition to that, there are thorough bike safety laws. There are provisions for safety gear, the applicability of traffic laws, the use of proper equipment, bicycle racing and rules pertaining to the sale of new bicycles. Additional regulations focus on the use of the bicycle lanes, as well as how motor vehicles can cross such. Such a thorough regulatory framework makes it easier to adhere to safety practices and reduce the amount of crashes that can potentially have a traumatic or lethal outcome.