Study shows bicycling deaths dramatically decreasing
Over the last 38 years, bicycle fatalities in the United States have decreased dramatically, according to a study published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study was led by Jason Vargo, an assistant scientist with University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Global Health Institute and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.
The study found that overall cycling deaths in the U.S. declined 44 percent in the last 38 years.
When they broke the numbers down by age groups, they found cycling deaths for children under the age of 15 saw the greatest decrease by 92 percent.
“When we looked at outside data sources, we saw that children are biking a lot less to school. That could be one reason. Also helmet use has gone up among children,” Vargo said.
While fatalities for children dramatically declined, the study showed a threefold increase in cycling deaths for adults between the ages of 35 and 54. Vargo believes that increase is because more adults are riding bicycles to commute and for recreation.
The study also looked at bicycle fatalities by state.
“For Wisconsin, they’ve seen a really large decrease, almost 70 percent decrease in that rate,” Vargo said.
He said the data indicates that states and communities that have invested in programs and infrastructure to promote cycling safety have fewer fatalities.
“We advocate for integrated and multifaceted approaches to cyclist safety that includes infrastructure, legislation and programs,” Vargo said.