Bicycle Deaths

The number of preventable deaths from bicycle transportation incidents increased 6% in 2019 and have increased 37% in the last 10 years, from 793 in 2010 to 1,089 in 2019. At the same time, the number of preventable nonfatal injuries has declined 40%, from 515,861 in 2010 to 308,864 in 2019. However, the number of preventable nonfatal injuries did increase 7% in 2019 from 2018.

Bicycle-related deaths peak in the summer months, starting in June, and they remain high through September. In 2019, the most deaths occurred in August (125) and the fewest in January (63).

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Of the 1,089 bicyclist deaths in 2019, 712 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 seven 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, 846 bicyclists were killed in motor-vehicle traffic crashes in 2019, a 3% decrease from 871 in 2018. Bicyclists’ deaths accounted for 2% of all motor-vehicle traffic fatalities. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 417,485 emergency department-treated injuries associated with  bicycles and bicycle accessories in 2019. 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 March 2021, 22 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 201 localities had bicycle helmet-use laws, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

Sources:

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 April 2021.

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.