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Pedalcyclist-car crash fatalities rise in the United States

As a pedestrian riding your bike in New Jersey, you have every right to use the roadways the same as any other person in a vehicle as long as you obey the traffic laws. You are legally allowed to be on the roads, and other drivers need to be aware that you're going to be there. They shouldn't be trying to pass too closely to you, and you shouldn't have to worry about getting hit by someone who isn't paying attention.

Sadly, there are many pedalcyclists who are killed each year in motor vehicle crashes. Their deaths account for around 2 percent of all the fatalities that take place on the roads, showing that their numbers aren't insignificant.

Pedalcyclist injuries are increasing each year, and the number of fatalities continues to rise. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over the 10 years between 2003 and 2012, the percent of total fatalities rose from 1.5 percent to 2.2 percent.

In that same time, the total cyclist fatalities in bicycle-car crashes rose from 629 in 2003 to 726 by 2012. Between 2011 and 2012 alone, the number of fatalities went up .1 percent to 2.2 percent in relation to the total number of fatalities in traffic crashes on the whole. The increase of pedalcyclist deaths changed from 682 in 2011 to 726 in 2012. That's a 6 percent increase in 2012 from 2011, showing that while cyclists may be more common on the roads today, they are still at risk -- and at a growing risk -- of being injured or killed while on the roadways.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "Traffic Safety Facts" accessed Mar. 26, 2015

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