Bicycle Deaths

The number of preventable deaths from bicycle transportation incidents decreased 2.5% in 2021 but have increased 37% in the last 10 years (from 900 in 2012 to 1,230 in 2021). At the same time, the number of preventable nonfatal injuries has declined 44%, from 532,212 in 2011 to 299,944 in 2021.

Bicycle-related deaths peak in the warmer months, starting in July, and they remain high through October. In 2021, most deaths occurred in September (149) and the fewest in February (60).

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Of the 1,230 bicyclist deaths in 2021, 853 died in motor-vehicle crashes and 377 in other incidents, according to National Center for Health Statistics mortality data. Males accounted for 88% of all bicycle deaths, over eight times the fatalities for females.

Explore preventable bicycle-related death and injury trends using this interactive chart.

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How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables

The estimated number of bicycle-related injuries and fatalities varies depending on the data source. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 966 bicyclists were killed in motor-vehicle traffic crashes in 2021, a 1.9% increase from 948 in 2020. Bicyclists’ deaths accounted for 2% of all motor-vehicle traffic fatalities. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 375,797 emergency department-treated injuries associated with bicycles and bicycle accessories in 2021. This estimate includes both preventable and intentional injuries. The estimates provided in the interactive chart are limited to preventable fatal injuries only.

A meta-analysis of bicycle helmet efficacy by Attewell, Glase, and McFadden (2001) estimated that bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 60% and brain injury by 58%. As of November 2023, 22 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 200 localities had bicycle helmet-use laws, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

National Safety Council estimates and tabulations of National Center for Health Statistics mortality data obtained via WISQARS. Population data for rates are from the U.S. Census Bureau. Data from Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute retrieved November 2023.

National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) All Injury Program, Office of Statistics and Programming, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Consumer Product Commission.

Attewell, R.G., Glase, K., & McFadden, M. (2001). Bicycle helmet efficacy: A meta-analysis. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 33(3), 345-352.