West Virginia Fatal Bicycle Accidents
West Virginia ranks among the safest states for bicyclists based on its fatality figures. The deadliest states for cyclists report places it at the 49th position. Only Vermont and Maine are classified as safer places for bikers that have lower fatalities per one million residents.
While cycling fatalities haven’t been eliminated, the figures for deadly crashes are negligible in comparison to the problems that some other states face. In 2010, two cyclists were killed on the road. There were no fatalities in 2011 and only one in 2012.
Fatal Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the League of American Bicyclists, annual bicycle sales in the state have reached 44.88 million dollars by 2014 – a factor that suggests the prominence of this commuting method. The report suggests, however, that 6.8 percent of traffic fatalities are related to biking accidents –a number that’s relatively high.
The latest official state report is for the period from 2006 to 2010.
According to the report, there was one biking fatality in 2006, one in 2007, two in 2008, zero in 2009 and three in 2010. The 2010 number represents 0.95 percent of all fatal collisions, suggesting that the League of American Bicyclists reports could potentially be somewhat exaggerated.
While there have been solely three fatalities in 2010, this number represents an increase of approximately 200 percent since 2006.
This is the only troublesome trend in the report because nationwide, there has been a sensible reduction in the number of collisions involving cyclists, as well as the number of fatalities. In 2010, the nationwide decrease reached 12.3 percent compared to figures for the preceding four-year period.
A 2013 report by the National Highway Traffic Administration suggests that the state has managed to maintain its positive track record. There were zero fatalities involving cyclists during the year. The only other states that had a zero-fatality rate are Wyoming, Vermont, South Dakota and Nebraska.
Bicycle Infrastructure Improvements and Safety Initiatives
The League of American Bicyclists puts together score cards aimed at assessing state efforts for increasing bicycling safety and encouraging more people to adopt this commuting method.
According to the League, West Virginia has been successful in a couple of important ways. The 2015 report suggests that the state has a well-developed safe passing law, it embraces complete streets policy, it has a state biking plan adopted after 2005, and it also benefits from the involvement of strong advocacy groups in the process.
There are a few areas in which the state has been criticized. The first one is the distribution of more state funds for the execution of biking infrastructure and safety projects. The League states that West Virginia currently ranks among the bottom five states as far as federal funding for biking and walking project execution goes.
A few other areas that could potentially see improvement in the future include the adoption of effective and easily traceable performance measures, the dedication of state funding to biking programs, the adoption of a statewide bicycle design manual and encouraging the integration of bicycle transportation into the improvement of the overall statewide transportation network.