There are 85 million bicycle riders in the US
About 800 bicyclists die in the US every year
About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries.
Bicycle crashes and injuries are under reported, since the majority are not serious enough for emergency room visits.
1 in 8 of the cyclists with reported injuries has a brain injury.
Two-thirds of the deaths here are from traumatic brain injury.
A very high percentage of cyclists' brain injuries can be prevented by a helmet, estimated at anywhere from 45 to 88 per cent.
Many years of potential life are lost because about half of the deaths are children under 15 years old.
Direct costs of cyclists' injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $81 million each year.
Indirect costs of cyclists' injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $2.3 billion each year.
Helmets are cheap. The typical discount store price has risen from under $10 to about $15, but there are still models available for under $10 at major retailers.
The following facts are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System:
- 660 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2002. This is 9 percent fewer than in 2001 and down 34 percent since 1975.
- Bicycle deaths are most likely to occur in summer and fall. Deaths are most likely to occur on Fridays. The peak time is 6-9 pm.
- Eighty-five percent of bicyclists killed in 2002 reportedly weren't wearing helmets.
- Twenty-three percent of bicyclists killed in 2002 had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater.
AGE AND GENDER
- Older bicyclists represent a larger percentage of bicycle deaths than in the past. Seventy-six percent of 2002 bicycle deaths were riders 16 years and older. This compares with 32 percent of bicycle deaths in 1975.
- About 8 times as many bicycle deaths are males compared with females. At almost every age, more male than female bicyclists are killed. Deaths per million people are higher among males than females at almost all ages.
- Bicycle deaths per million people are highest among 14 year-old males.
WHERE THEY DIED
- Four states (California, Florida, New York, and Texas) accounted for 47 percent of bicycle deaths in 2002.
- More bicyclists were killed in urban areas than in rural areas (68 percent compared with 32 percent) in 2002.
- Fifty-eight percent of bicycle deaths in 2002 occurred on major roads, and 38 percent occurred on local roads.
Fifty-five percent of bicycle deaths among children younger than 16 and 32 percent of adult (age 16 and older) bicycle deaths occur on minor roads. Adult bicyclists are more likely than children to be killed on major roads (63 percent compared with 42 percent).