By Charles Pekow — Crashes are alarmingly on the rise, according to the latest federal figures. The number of cyclist injuries went up seven percent in 2021 from the year before, according to Overview of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes in 2021, recently released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The number of people killed while cycling jumped 1.9 percent over 2020, or 19 more people. (Note: NHTSA uses the term “pedalcyclist,” which includes people riding unicycles, tricycles, etc.; presumably a very small percentage of the total).
The number of non-lethal cyclist injuries increased by increased by 2,729, or 7 percent, from 38,886 to 41,615.
The rise can’t be blamed entirely on changing habits during the pandemic, as injuries have been rising for the decade before: “Pedalcyclist fatalities in urban areas increased by 62 percent since 2012; they decreased by 38 percent in rural areas,” NHTSA reports. “Pedalcyclist fatalities in urban areas increased by 8.2 percent since 2020; they decreased by 24 percent in rural areas.”
The statistics show, “of the 966 pedalcyclist fatalities, 220 (22 percent) were involved in hit-and-run crashes in 2021.”