Wyoming Fatal Bike Accidents
The first cyclist to be killed in Wyoming in 2017 was a 71-year-old man from Loveland. According to a report, the man hit the right side of a passenger car at an intersection. This accident has brought up questions about cyclist safety both locally and on a statewide level. While Wyoming ranks among the biker-friendly states in the US, there’s still room for improvement in its policies and safe infrastructure projects.
Fatal Bike Accident Statistics
The latest official crash report by the Wyoming Department of Transportation was published in 2016. The report states that bicyclists were involved in 72 crashes that injured 71 people. A lethal outcome was observed in just one collision.
The biggest number of injuries, 21, occurred in the zero to 13 age group. Incapacitating injuries were sustained by cyclists aged 17 to 29. The fatal collision took the life of one person aged 60 to 69. Fifty-three percent of all injured individuals were men.
The numbers for 2015 reveal a similar picture. There were 89 collisions involving cyclists. These injured 90 individuals but didn’t contribute to fatalities.
In comparison, five cyclists lost their lives in 2014, zero people were killed during 2013 and 2012, and there was one fatal collision involving a biker in 2011.
Wyoming has a couple of additional interesting observations about the accidents and the fatalities involving bikes:
- 67 percent of fatal crashes occurred in urban settings; the rest took place in rural areas
- Most (about 50 percent of all collisions) happened on non-intersection roads
- The time zone that saw the biggest number of collisions was noon to 3 pm
- From 2010 to 2014, 33 percent of fatal accidents involved the use of either drugs or alcohol
Federal data ranks Wyoming as one of the safest places for US cyclists. Only West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine have a lower per capita fatality rate for cyclists. Despite its relatively good standing, the state is currently working on higher levels of awareness and infrastructure improvements aimed at encouraging bike commuting and guaranteeing the safety of cyclists.
Awareness, Infrastructure Improvements, and State Programs
The local department of transportation has put together a Highway Safety Program aimed at bringing the number of collisions and traffic fatalities down. A pedestrian and bicycle safety program is carried out under the umbrella of the all0-encompassing strategy.
The program aims to ensure the successful integration of biking infrastructure in the transportation network. A transportation network that comes with modal choices is the top priority as far as the plan goes. While specific projects aren’t mentioned under the program, it outlines the framework for local communities interested in developing their bicycle and pedestrian projects.
Additionally, a 2016 Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan was adopted statewide. It has three primary objectives – increase safety for bikers and pedestrians, provide mobility for all users of the transportation network and increase economic development opportunities through the development of biking/walking infrastructure.
A number of specific goals have been outlined in the project to meet the above-mentioned objectives. These goals include setting guidelines for new transportation network development that is biker and walker-friendly, provide assistance to local communities interested in carrying out such initiatives, provide project design personnel and training, identify critical gaps in the system, assist communities with information on currently available programs and summarize safety data for the purpose of effectiveness assessment.