blog home Bicycle Accident More Bicycle Accidents and Auto Crash Fatalities During the Covid Crisis

By Renee Nordstrand on January 20, 2022

mountain bike in the woods

With lockdowns and more people working from home, the global pandemic significantly reduced traffic in California and across the nation. You would expect bicycle accidents and traffic deaths to decrease accordingly. In fact, the reverse occurred. Traffic fatalities have actually increased during the Covid crisis.

Bicycle Accident Statistics During the Pandemic

Bicycle accidents increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, as reported by Advocacy Advance. Cities throughout the U.S. reported higher numbers of bike crashes.

  • An estimated 891 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • This number represents a 5% increase over the previous year.
  • California led the nation with 118 cyclist fatalities, according to Advocacy Advance.
  • Louisiana had the highest number of bicyclist deaths per million residents (7.3 deaths per one million).
  • The highest numbers of bicycle deaths occurred from May through August.

Possible Reasons Why Bicycle Accidents Increased During the Global Crisis

Bicycle-related injuries significantly increased with Covid lockdowns, as stated by the American College of Surgeons. Trauma cases involving bicycle injuries increased 100%. When non-essential businesses were temporarily shut down, many people couldn’t go to the gym, yoga classes, dance classes, and other popular forms of exercise. Outdoor bicycling was a great alternative exercise for many people. As the demand for bicycles increased, so did the prices, and product shortages occurred. With more people out bicycling, more cyclists were injured or killed in accidents.

Other possible reasons for increased bicycle accident injuries and fatalities may include:

  • More SUVs and trucks on the roadways – cyclists have a greater risk of death in a crash with an SUV or pickup
  • Increased speed limits
  • Driver distraction

Auto Crash Fatality Statistic During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Although the pandemic reduced driving, traffic fatalities in the U.S. increased in 2020. NHTSA reported that an estimated 38,680 people died on U.S. roadways, the largest number of traffic fatalities nationwide since 2007, and an increase of approximately 7.2% over the previous year. This increase in traffic deaths in 2020 is the highest estimated year-over-year jump calculated in 96 years, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). California saw a 5% increase in traffic fatalities in 2020, as stated by the Los Angeles Times.

Possible Reasons for Increased Traffic Fatalities During the Global Pandemic

Despite significantly reduced traffic on the roads, only nine states in the U.S. saw a drop in traffic deaths during 2020, and California was not one of them, as stated by NSC. Eight states experienced an increase of more than 15% in the estimated number of crash fatalities. Statistics have shown an increase during the pandemic in fatal accidents involving alcohol, illegal substances, speeding, and failure to wear a seat belt. Highway Patrol Officers in California issued nearly 28,500 tickets for speeding at over 100 mph and arrested 232 people for reckless driving, as reported by the LA Times. Another factor may be driver distraction, as people are using their phones more since the global pandemic began.

Why You Need a Lawyer After a Serious Automobile or Bicycle Accident

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in an automobile or bicycle accident, your best chance of holding responsible parties accountable and recovering full compensation for your losses is to have an experienced personal injury attorney representing you. At NordstrandBlack PC, our Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers have more than 30 years of experience. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to fight large insurance companies at trial.

We offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. Call us at (805) 962-2022 to find out how we can help.

Posted in: Bicycle Accident