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South Carolina Ranked as 5th Deadliest State for Bicycle Riders

South Carolina Ranked as 5th Deadliest State for Bicycle Riders

Beware, South Carolina bicyclists – riding on the roads in our state comes with a big risk of life-threatening accidents, as South Carolina has recently been named as the fifth leading state for fatal bicycle accidents in the U.S.

This is according to a recent report that presented a fascinating analysis of bicycle crash data compiled by federal regulators over the past few years.1 And while this report indicated that deadly bicycle accidents across the nation have been consistently rising since 2010, it also ranked every state in the U.S. according to how many bicyclists in that state are killed in crashes each year.

Beating out South Carolina for the top four spots were:

  1. Florida, where at least 110 bicyclists are killed annually, making it the single deadliest state for bicyclists in the U.S.
  2. Louisiana, where an average of 17 bicycle riders are killed each year
  3. New Mexico, where an average of 6 bicyclists are killed annually
  4. Arizona, where approximately 20 bicycle riders are killed each year.

In South Carolina, there’s an average of 14 bicyclists involved in fatal crashes every year.

It should be noted that this report’s rankings were based on the average bicyclist death rate compared to the state’s overall population (rather than a straight ranking based on the number of reported bicyclist fatalities).

Leading Causes of Fatal Bicycle Accidents

While the specific conditions in different states that contribute to deadly bicycle crashes may vary considerably, federal authorities2 have reported the following as being among the leading causes of deadly bicycle accidents in the U.S.:

  • Driver distraction, which prevents motorists from seeing and/or yielding to bicyclists
  • Alcohol impairment, either on the part of other motorists, bicyclists or both
  • Traffic violations, which can be committed by motorists, as well as bicyclists
  • Roadway conditions, such as a lack of bicycle lanes, a lack of signage, broken intersection signals, etc.
  • Failure to wear safety gear, such as safety helmets (This can substantially increase the risk that bike accidents will result in fatal head injuries for riders when crashes do happen).

What Are the Safest States for Bicycle Riders?

According to this report, the following states were ranked as the top five safest states for riders (based on the fact that these states had the lowest rates of deadly bicycle accidents over the past five years, with each reporting no more than 5 bicyclist fatalities since 2010):

  1. Maine
  2. Vermont
  3. West Virginia
  4. Wyoming
  5. Montana

What do you think about the findings that South Carolina is one of the deadliest states for bicyclists? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook & Google+.

Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident – or if you have lost a loved one to any type of deadly traffic crash, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and recovery options.

Tenacious and tireless, our attorneys are focused on fighting for our clients’ rights and helping them succeed in their financial recoveries so they can reclaim their lives.

Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.


1: Data pulled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSAs) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

2: NHTSA findings regarding fatal and nonfatal bicycle accident

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