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States with Highest and Lowest Bicycling Fatalities per Million Population
States with Highest and Lowest Bicycling Fatalities per Million Population

If You're Going To Ride A Bike, Here's Safest and Most Dangerous States

Quikbyke's first pilot rental location will be in Omaha, Nebraska, largely because that's where I live. But it also turns out to be one of the safest states in the country in terms of bicycling fatalities per million population.

The state of Vermont happens to be the safest place to cycle in America with a fatality rate between the years 2008-2012 of just .03 per million. Had the folks who created the above graphic used only 2013 NHTSA data, the number would have been .00. There were no cyclist deaths in Vermont that year. The same applies to my home state of Nebraska. Other low fatality rate states include West Virginia, Missouri and South Dakota.

By contrast, if you ride a bike in Florida, your chances of becoming a statistic are significantly higher at six (6) fatalities per million population annually. In 2013, 133 cyclists were killed riding their bikes. Just behind the Sunshine State is tiny Delaware, followed by Louisiana, Arizona and California.

From my perspective as the founder of Quikbyke, there's good news here. Since we're launching our pilot test rental location here in my hometown of Omaha, our renters should be safer. That should also reflect favorably in our liability insurance premiums.

The bad news is our primary target customer, baby boomers, also happen to have the highest fatality rates: it's double the rate of millennials; but conversely, millennials have an injury rate twice that of boomers.

According to NHSTA's data, the most dangerous time of the day to ride is after 6 PM, which is after what we anticipate will be our normal business hours from 9 AM to 5 PM.

What this means to me as a businessman launching a startup like Quikbyke is that we need to make sure our clients understand how to ride safely. Fortunately, we have some wonderful segregated trails that are separated from automobile traffic. But as we grow the business, we'll need to work even harder to make sure people find their rides not only memorable but also accident-free. Fortunately, we have statistics on our side. Since the launch of the first commercial bikeshare system in America in 2007, there has been, at least the last time I checked, not one fatality in any US bikeshare program, and believe me, Quikbyke doesn't want to be the outlier here.

Posted By: Bill Moore [24-Mar-2016]