In a disconcerting update about the state of U.S. roadways and the safety of them for bicyclists, new data shows that from 2010 to 2012, the number of fatalities relating to bicycle accidents increased dramatically. The 16 percent increase in fatalities (621 in 2010, 722 in 2012) is even more alarming when you consider that fatalities related to other accidents only rose by 1 percent.

To be fair, when compared to the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the current fatality figures for bike accidents in the U.S. are significantly improved. But with all of the safety advancements we have made and all of the awareness campaigns that have been run, it is shocking to see such a dramatic increase in bike fatalities in such a short time frame.

A couple of other statistics related to this new data may not be too surprising — though they do point to some areas where improved safety and stronger campaigning could help. Roughly 84 percent of the bike accident fatalities in 2012 involved people age 20 or older. In addition, about 69 percent of the fatalities occurred in urban areas, which is unsurprising given how busy and traffic-filled urban areas are.

Really, this story simply serves as a reminder — for bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers alike — that the road is very dangerous. Everyone who is on or near the road has a job to do, and they must be focused to ensure that everyone remains safe. Any negligent or reckless act could make you liable if an accident occurs.

Source: autoblog.com, “Bicyclist deaths spike on US roads,” Chris Bruce, Oct. 30, 2014