Plus   Neg

Critical Changes Needed To Address Fatal Bicycle Crashes: NTSB

bicyclecrashes1 nov06 lt

The National Transportation Safety Board has called for a number of critical changes to address an alarming rise in the number of bicyclist fatalities in the United States.

NTSB's examination of bicyclist safety on U.S. roadways shows the recent rise in fatal bicycle crashes involving motor vehicles, even as overall traffic deaths fell in 2018.

Investigators found that improving roadway design, enhancing bicyclists' visibility and increasing helmet use are some of the measures to reduce the number of fatal and serious crashes.

Actions from federal and state agencies and bicyclists themselves are needed to lower the number of crashes between motor vehicles and bicycles, some of them fatal, said the head of National Transportation Safety Board during a public meeting Tuesday.

NTSB Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt warned that more preventable crashes will happen and more cyclists will die if roadway infrastructure for bicyclists are not improved.

NTSB investigators said 25 percent of all fatal collisions involving bicyclists occurred while a motorist was overtaking a bicyclist in the stretches of roadway between intersections. Although intersection crashes are frequent, the overtaking collisions are fatal more oten since vehicles tend to travel faster.

The NTSB said the infrastructure should be such that vehicles are separated from bicyclists, such as with separated bike lanes, to reduce the number of the most serious crashes.

It has been noted that more than 65 percent of collisions occur at intersections, where alerts that clearly denote right-of-way using color, signage, medians, signals and pavement markings would likely reduce the number of crashes.

Research shows that less than half of bicyclists wear helmets and that head injuries were the leading cause of bicyclist fatalities.

NTSB recommended that all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, require that all persons wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.

The Board said in a press release that its Bicycle Safety Report will be published in full within weeks.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Follow RTT