South Dakota Fatal Bicycle Accidents

South Dakota Fatal Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle fatalities have been going down across the US. The long-term positive trend has been observed in South Dakota, as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cyclist mortality rate was 0.41 in the period from 1975 to 1979. The figure went down to 0.10 in 2008 to 2012, a decrease of 74.6 percent.

While great strides have been made in improving biking safety, additional work is still required. The state currently ranks as the 37th deadliest state for US cyclists – a relatively good placement in comparison to other parts of the country. The mortality rate is very low, but fatal accidents still take place. In 2010, two people lost their lives in bicycle crashes. The number was one in 2011 and zero in 2012.

The Latest Fatal Bicycle Accident Statistics

The 2015 South Dakota Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Summary by the Department of Public Safety shows that one bicyclist was killed on the road in 2015 and two people died in 2014.

The numbers have remained more or less steady over the years since 1995, the Department of Public Safety reports. In 2013, there were zero collisions involving bikes and the same applies to 2012. There were two collisions in 2010, and the same is true for 1998. Most years from 1995 to 2015 feature either one death or no fatal cycle crashes.

As far as injuries go, the number of incapacitating injuries experienced by bikers in 2015 was nine. There were 53 non-incapacitating injuries, 28 possible injuries and a total number of 90 non-fatal injuries.

In comparison, the number of incapacitating injuries that have been sustained by motor vehicle drivers was 538, in the case of passengers – 229.

Bike accident deaths contribute to 0.8 percent of the total fatalities that occur on the road. The injuries represent 1.6 percent of the overall number. Both of these percentages suggest that the bike is a relatively safe transportation method in the state.

Safety Initiatives and Projects

This state seems to be doing something right as well as cyclist safety is concerned.

The state’s 2015 Highway Safety Plan prepared by the Department of Public Safety puts primary emphasis on a few crucial areas – impaired driving, occupant protection, speeding, young driver education, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, as well as motorcycle safety.

The goal that’s been set into the plan is maintaining the five-year bicycle fatality rate at one accident per year or less despite an expected increase in the state’s population by 2020.

Currently, the state ranks among the top 10 states as far as commuter bicycling levels are concerned and in the field of per capita spending on bicycle and pedestrian projects (it occupies the seventh position). The report also praises the state for ranking among the ones that have a master plan pertaining to the setting up of biking trails.

There are a few areas that desire improvement. The percentage of federal transportation funds dedicated to bicycling and walking projects is only 1.8 percent in South Dakota. In comparison, a top-performer like Delaware has 3.7 percent of the budget set aside for the execution of such projects. The overall funding for biking initiatives is 5.19 million dollars on an annual basis or 6.29 dollars per capita. In Delaware, the total annual budget is 7.76 million dollars or 8.56 dollars per capita. In Alaska, the annual investment in biking initiatives is 8.7 million dollars or 12.08 dollars per capita – numbers that make the state a leader in the field.

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