A Message from the Chief Executive Officer
The American League of Bicyclists has reported that according to the National Sporting Goods Association, consumers bought 18.5 million bicycles in 2003. “Americans of all ages and backgrounds enjoy bicycling. Some 42.5 million Americans ride bicycles, according to the National Sporting Goods Association’s 2000 study. This is more than the numbers that participate in other leading sports (29.4 million basketball players, 27.5 million golfers, 22.5 million runners, 13.2 million soccer players, 11.2 million tennis players, and 7.7 million downhill skiers).” There are more cyclists in the United States than golfers, skiers, and tennis players combined!
Bicyclists riding in areas without bike paths or lanes are nearly twice as likely to feel endangered (mostly by motorists) as bicyclists with paths or lanes, and more than four times as likely to be dissatisfied with how their community is designed for making biking safe. On October 8, 2008 U.S. President George Bush signed the “Bicycle Commuter Benefits Act” into law. Congressman Blumenauer of Oregon included a bike commuter benefit provision in HR1424, the $700 billion Wall Street bailout package. “We are delighted that the bicycle commuter benefits act has passed after a lengthy and persistent campaign spearheaded by Congressman Blumenauer (D-OR),” said League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke. “Bicycle commuters will now be extended similar benefits to people who take transit and drive to work – it’s an equitable and sensible incentive to encourage greater energy independence, improve air quality and health, and even help tackle climate change.” The benefit -- up to $20 per month -- begins in 2009. Employers may reimburse employees, tax free, for "reasonable" expenses related to their bike commute, including equipment purchases, bike purchases, repairs, and storage if the bicycle is used as a "substantial part" of the commuter's trip to work for the month. However, commuting by bicycle requires safe trails and bike paths.
1. More than 52,000 pedalcyclists have died in traffic crashes in the United States since 1932 — the first year in which estimates of pedalcyclist fatalities were recorded.
2. In 2007, 698 pedalcyclists were killed and an additional 44,000 were injured in traffic crashes.
3. Pedalcyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities and pedalcyclists made up 2 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.
4. The number of pedalcyclist fatalities in 2007 is 14 percent lower than the 814 fatalities reported in 1997.
5. The highest number of pedalcyclist fatalities ever recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) was 1,003 in 1975.
6. Pedalcyclists accounted for 13 percent of all non-occupant traffic fatalities in 2007.
7. Pedalcyclist fatalities occurred more frequently in urban areas (72%), at non-intersection locations (64%), between the hours of 5 and 9 p.m. (26%), and during the months of June (11%) and September (11%).
8. In 1997, the average age of pedalcyclists killed in traffic crashes was 31; in 2007 the average age of those killed was 40.
9. In contrast, in 1997 the average age of those injured was 24 and the average age of those injured in 2007 was 30.
10. Pedalcyclists under age 16 accounted for 15 percent of all pedalcyclists killed and 29 percent of those injured in traffic crashes in 2007.
11. By comparison, pedalcyclists under age 16 accounted for 31 percent of all those killed and 44 percent of those injured in 1997.
12. Pedalcyclists age 25 and older have made up an increasing proportion of all pedalcyclist deaths since 1997.
13. The proportion of pedalcyclist fatalities age 25 to 64 was 1.4 times higher in 2007 as in 1997 (64% and 46%, respectively).
14. One-seventh (15%) of the pedalcyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2007 were between 5 and 15 years old.
15. The pedalcyclist fatality rate for this age group in 2007 was 2.40 per million population — about 4 percent higher than the rate for all pedalcyclists (2.31 per million population).
16. The injury rate for this age group was 281 per million population, compared with 144.2 per million population for pedalcyclists of all ages.
17. Alcohol involvement — for either the driver or the pedalcyclist— was reported in more than one-third of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedalcyclist fatalities in 2007.
18. In 33 percent of the crashes, either the driver or the cyclist was reported to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.
19. Lower alcohol levels (BAC .01 to .07 g/dL) were reported in an additional 10 percent of crashes. Over one-fourth (31%) of the pedalcyclists killed had a BAC of .01 g/dL or higher, and nearly one-fourth (25%) had a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher.
20. Most of the pedalcyclists killed or injured in 2007 were males (88% and 83%, respectively), and most were between the ages of 5 and 44 (55% and 79%, respectively).
21. In 2007, the pedalcyclist fatality rate per capita was eight times higher for males than for females, and the injury rate per capita was more than five times higher for males.
Dr. Vincent Troia
Executive Chairman & CEO
Copyright © 2009 Ohio River Trail Council