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Deaths of bicyclists, truck occupants rise

Dec 14, 2012

A recent report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that as small vehicle fatalities are falling, the death tolls of bicyclists and the occupants of large trucks are rising.

According to the study, bicycle deaths increased 8.7 percent, while the deaths of large-truck occupants jumped by 20 percent in 2011.

Total traffic fatalities dropped 1.9 percent, to 32,367, the lowest level since 1949. However, some analysts believe that this is due to more motorists choosing to ride bicycles rather than drive, leading to an increase in the death rate of bicyclists.

For example, in Washington, D.C., the death rate of bicyclists has increased by 175 percent since 2004, according to Insurance Journal. During that same period, D.C. also grew its bicycle lanes to allow for more traffic as more drivers opted to cycle to work.

As traffic fatalities decrease, it could mean lowered auto insurance rates for drivers of small vehicles.

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