Transportation Secretary Seeks Increased Accuracy in Bicycle and Pedestrian Accident Statistics

In recent years, injuries and fatalities among pedestrians and bicyclists have increased 6% and 7% respectively. Since 2009, these numbers have steadily risen at a rate higher than motor vehicle fatalities.

Compounding the problem is the increasing popularity of traveling by walking or biking. As more people begin incorporating these methods of transportation into their everyday lives, it becomes more important to increase safety standards for walking and biking facilities. In order to do this, it is necessary to have an accurate representation of bicycle and pedestrian accident statistics.

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Up until now, there has been no clear procedure for recording data on these types of accidents. Data on bicycle and pedestrian accidents is primarily collected from police reports, which can cause data to be unintentionally omitted. For example, if there is an accident between a car and a bicycle, the police report may be tagged solely as an auto accident. Because of this, it is believed that the statistics currently available regarding bicycle and pedestrian accidents may be understated.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is considering a new approach to collecting and analyzing accident data that involves pedestrians and bicycles. His goal is to raise the standard of safety expected for pedestrians and bicyclists. In order to do so, it is necessary to have statistics that accurately represent the frequency of these types of accidents and allow for year-to-year comparison to measure progress.