Cycling deaths have increased in the US over the last decade (up 44%), but some states are doing a better job keeping their bikers safe than others.
Bike experts Ice Bike studied data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over ten years to see which states had the lowest percentage of cyclist deaths according to the population. While some surprises were on the list (we'll get back to those later), some states are doing very well in keeping cyclists safe.
The study found that Nebraska is the safest state for cyclists, with a fatality rate of 0.77 per 100,000 people and a 67% lower rate than the national average of 2.35 deaths per 100,000 people.
In fact, Nebraska is one of three states where fewer than one death occurred per 100,000 people during these ten years.
2. South Dakota
South Dakota had just seven cyclist deaths over ten years, equating to 0.79 bicyclist deaths per 100,000 residents — a 66% lower rate than the national average.
Vermont has a low mortality rate among cyclins (0.96 deaths per 100,000) and less than ten to six fatalities during this period. At 59% lower than the national average, this makes it one of the safest states for bikers in America.
4. West Virginia
The results show that riding a bike in West Virginia is safer than in many other states. The state has an average of 1.05 deaths per 100,000 people, making it the fourth safest on the list.
Tennessee has had the fifth safest state at just 1.06 deaths per 100,000 people during the last seven years. In total, 72 cyclists have died while riding in Tennessee since 2010.
Missouri is one of the safest states for cyclists, with 66 deaths over a ten-year period. That is 0.9% of the national total, which makes Missouri the sixth safest state. Missouri has a lot of great cycling trails, including the Katy Trail, which runs through many towns and cities throughout the state.
7. Rhode Island
Rhode Island was found to be the seventh safest state for cyclists in America, with only 1.13 deaths per 100,000 people and 12 total fatalities during those three years. The state also had the lowest fatality rate at 52% lower.
Connecticut -1.17 bicyclist deaths per 100,000 people. The fatality rate is 50% lower than the national average. In addition, Connecticut is one of the most bike-friendly states in America, with more than 2000 miles of bike paths and multi-use trails.
Wyoming - 1.21 deaths per 100,000 people, 48% lower than the national average. Wyoming is known for its wide open spaces, cowboys, cowgirls, and horses. It is also a great place to ride a bike if you want some peace and quiet.
Massachusetts came in tenth place with 1.23 deaths per 100,000 people, 48% lower than the national average. The Bay State also has some of the oldest roads in America and may be less likely to have fatal crashes due to their slower speeds than newer roads across the country.
Ice Bike, which provides reviews and price comparisons for bikes, conducted the research for this study.
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