Tennessee Fatal Bicycle Accidents
Tennessee is one of the top performers, as far as bicyclist safety is concerned. Federal statistics pertaining to the deadliest states for cyclist give Tennessee the 44th position. Only Missouri, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine are better performers.
The state has an average annual deaths per million people rate of 0.9. The number of deadly collisions involving bikes was four in 2010, five in 2011 and eight in 2012. While these numbers are higher than the averages for some other states, the total population has to be taken into consideration. Tennessee has a population of 6.651 million people, as per a 2016 census, which turns the number of fatalities in a negligible percentage.
Detailed Fatal Bike Crash Statistics
A report for the period from 2007 to 2017 published by the Department of Safety and Homeland Security suggests that there were six bicycle-related fatalities in 2007, seven in 2008, eight in 2009 and four in 2010.
As far as the most recent statistics go, data for 2017 so far suggests that four people have been killed in a bicycle-involving accident. The annual report for 2016 indicates nine deaths, for 2015 – 10 deaths and for 2014 – six deaths.
In comparison, other groups of people are much more vulnerable than cyclists. In 2016, 101 pedestrians lost their lives. The same applies to 112 people in a large truck or bus accident, 147 motorcyclists, and 358 passenger vehicle occupants.
Bike-related fatalities in 2014 represented 0.5 percent of all the crashes that had a lethal outcome. There were 962 deadly crashes that took place in the state, and the cyclist fatalities per million people were 0.76. The number is much lower than the averages for some other states – 3.06 in Utah, 4.06 in North Dakota and 2.9 in South Carolina.
The state’s most prominent cities are also much better performers than other US urban centers. Memphis had 89 traffic fatalities in 2014, and none of them occurred during a bicycle collision. There are solely a few other cities in the US that have managed to maintain cyclist fatality down at a zero – Austin, El Paso, the Nashville-Davidson metropolitan area, Portland and Las Vegas are a few of those.
Bicycle Safety Initiatives and Infrastructure Development
Tennessee has some important laws that act as the first line of protection for cyclists on the road. For a start, a bicycle has the status of a vehicle throughout the state. Thus, cyclists enjoy all of the rights and the responsibilities that other traffic participants have.
It’s unlawful for underage individuals to drive a bike unless they’re using protective gear on a sidewalk, a highway, a road or a bicycle lane. It’s also unlawful for young children to be bike passengers unless the right kind of protective seating is utilized.
Traffic laws and all penalties envisioned in those apply to bicycle riders.
There’s a separate set of laws that apply to the owners of electric bikes.
Also, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office carries out a number of safety programs aimed at reducing the risk of bicycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Public opinion is also largely in favor of the execution of such projects.
At the beginning of 2017, it became clear that local voters favor higher increased spending on the development of pedestrian and biking infrastructure. The survey was carried out by the Social Office of Research and Public Service at UT Knoxville. The results suggest that the overwhelming majority of people is in favor of increasing the budgets for biking infrastructure development, as well as for carrying out multimodal transportation projects.