Bike Accident Statistics in New Jersey

Personal Injury • July 29, 2022

Bicycle accidents result from a variety of different factors, the majority of which are driver-related. Common causes of bike accidents include cars turning without looking for cyclists, unsafe lane changes by vehicle drivers or cyclists, vehicle operators driving too close to bike lanes, and cyclists or other drivers using cell phones while driving. Anytime a cyclist gets on their bike, they are faced with significant risk. Whether you ride for exercise, on your daily commute, or are a professional cyclist, the reality doesn’t change. Without the protection of a car, cyclists are at extreme risk for severe injuries should they get in an accident.

Bicycle Fatalities

The number of people killed in bicycle accidents in New Jersey and across the United States each year is staggering and continues to rise. In New Jersey, pedestrian and cyclist deaths have reached a crisis level.

According to startling traffic data, in 2017, cyclist fatalities in New Jersey rose more than 10 percent. By 2021, 23 cyclists had been killed in traffic accidents in New Jersey. This doesn’t include cyclists that are mildly or severely injured, which is a very common occurrence. An increase in bicycle accidents is said to be caused by more adults biking to work and an increase in vehicle traffic.

Bicycle Accident Occurrence in New Jersey Over The Last Seven Years

Bicycle-related traffic death records are kept by the New Jersey State Police. In 2014, out of 556 bicycle accident fatalities in the United States, eleven cyclist deaths occurred in New Jersey, while this number increased to seventeen in 2015 and eighteen in 2016. As of August 2017, New Jersey State Police recorded 356 total traffic fatalities, eight of which were bicycle accidents. 

In the year 2018, 17 deaths were recorded, while 12, 18, and 23 bicycle-related fatalities were recorded in 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively. Most of these bicycle accident deaths occur in urban areas.

Bike Accident in New Jersey by Period 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it was revealed that most bicycle deaths occur between June and September, mostly in the evening. The risk of being involved in a bicycle accident in non-daylight conditions is five times greater than during the daytime. 

Half of the bicycle-motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey occurred at night or during low-light conditions when motorists had trouble seeing cyclists.   

Bike Accident in New Jersey by Age

According to a New Jersey police report, some age groups are at higher risk of bicycle injuries and deaths. Adults ages above 50 have the highest bicycle death rates. 

Adolescents, teenagers, and young adults have the highest rates of bicycle-related injuries that are treated in emergency departments. Individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 account for nearly one-third of all bicycle-related injuries seen in New Jersey

Effective Interventions to Curb Bicycle Accidents

Many steps could be taken to help reduce bicycle fatalities and injuries in New Jersey. Fortunately, one that was recently taken was the implementation of a passing law. Before August 2021, there was no law in New Jersey regarding vehicles safely passing cyclists. Now, the law states that all vehicles must leave 4 feet between their vehicles and the cyclist when passing them. 

Drivers must also follow speed limits and move to a different lane than the bicycle if one is available. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass the cyclist, drivers can drive a maximum of 25mph and must be prepared to stop, until they can safely pass the bike. 

Other possible interventions could help with bicycle safety, including the following:

Mandatory Helmet Laws. In New Jersey, only children 17 and younger are required to ride helmets while riding a bicycle. Requiring all cyclists to wear helmets any time they get on a bike could help prevent many deaths and serious injuries. Helmet use significantly reduces the risk of head and brain injuries that occur in bicycle accidents. 

Improve Road Design. It’s important to have roads and infrastructure that are safe for vehicles and cyclists and pedestrians. 

Always Wear Proper Clothing. Many bicycle accidents occur because motor vehicle operators are unable to see the cyclist. Bike riders should always wear reflective clothing and bright colors that will make them more visible in low-light conditions.

Always Equip Bikes With Lights. Cyclists should always ensure that their bike is equipped with proper lighting so vehicles can see them from a distance. Rear lights and any other form of lights on the bike can be incredibly helpful.

If you were involved in a bike accident or have any questions related to bicycle statistics or laws in New Jersey, contact us for a free consultation.