Texas Fatal Bicycle Accident Statistics
Regardless of constantly improving safety efforts, bicycle-related fatalities continue occurring in Texas. The state occupies the 16th position in a ranking of the deadliest states for cyclists (2012). The average annual biking deaths per one million people are 1.9. In 2010, 42 people lost their lives as a result of a bike crash. The number went up to 45 people in 2011 and 56 people in 2012.
Detailed Bike Fatality Statistics
The fatality number for 2012 is the third highest in the country. Only California and Florida saw a bigger number of cyclist deaths – 124 and 122 respectively.
The total number of traffic fatalities during the year was 3,398, and cycling accidents represent 1.6 percent of this figure. The cyclist fatalities per one million people during the year were 2.15.
The Austin Police Department also has a pretty thorough report about bike collisions and deaths in the city. The number of fatalities in the city have been as follows – one in 2007, one in 2008, one in 2009, two in 2010 and a single one in 2011. People that were injured in bike collisions ranged from 230 to 336, which sets the annual average at 280.
In general, bike collisions represent 2.2 percent of the overall number for Austin.
What’s even more intriguing is taking a look at the behavior of cyclists and the other factors that could have contributed to crashes. Data for 2011 suggests that 150 bikers who participated in a crash ran a stop sign and 143 people ran a red light. Ninety of the bicycles involved in accidents weren’t equipped with lights, and in 15 cases, there was no rear reflector.
More information about pedestrian and cyclist crashes can be obtained from the following customizable Austin map.
Safety and Infrastructure Development Efforts
According to the Houston Chronicle, the city has seen six biking fatalities each in 2014 and 2015. In the first three months of 2016, four cyclists lost their lives despite efforts aimed at enhancing safety and developing the necessary infrastructure.
To overcome the issue, the city approved an ordinance in 2013 aimed at increasing safety whenever vehicles overtake bikes on the road. The regulation requires drivers to give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing. Otherwise, they can’t complete the overtaking. Since the enactment of the new regulation, however, it has proven to be far from effective and far from the biggest problem.
Cyclists in Houston and throughout Texas have been complaining about the ambiguity of safety regulations and laws. Many biking organization representatives state that cyclists aren’t treated as equals on the road, which may potentially encourage risky behavior among motor vehicle operators.
The Austin Police Department’s report outlines a few initiatives in the city that could have contributed to the relatively low number of biking fatalities. The vulnerable road user ordinance focuses predominantly on cyclists. If a road has two or more lanes, a motor vehicle operator is asked to vacate the respective lane whenever attempting to pass a bicycle.
The Bright Cyclist Campaign launched by the police department is educational and aims to boost safe biking awareness. As a part of the campaign, police officers are also on the watch out for violations committed by bikers – lack of lights or lack of reflective gear. As a part of the campaign, free lights have been issued to the cyclists who have violated such regulations.
Since two-thirds of bike collisions in Texas occur on city streets, such local efforts aimed at increasing cyclist safety are the ones that seem to be making much more sense than statewide initiatives.