Sharp Increase in Vermont Bicycle Fatalities

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The total number of people dying in traffic accidents in Vermont has decreased significantly over the past few years, but for cyclists, the numbers have worsened significantly, causing some alarm in a state filled with beautiful, scenic byways that are perfect for bike riding. In 2011 through 2014, the state experienced no fatalities among cyclists involved in crashes. In 2015, however, that number jumped to four. Incapacitating injuries to cyclists involved in crashes jumped from four in 2014 to 12 in 2015.

And while the sum of crashes involving pedestrians has dropped — from 147 in 2013 to 126 in 2015 — total crashes involving bicyclists jumped from 77 to 97 between 2014 and 2015.

Last year, the sudden spike in bicycle fatalities put the cycling community on edge, raising concerns about cars and bikes safely co-existing on Vermont’s roads. In May, an experienced cyclist and a motorist died in a crash on Vermont 116. Just the month before, another cyclist died after being hit by an individual who was allegedly driving drunk.

Two of the cyclists deaths were caused by drivers who were intoxicated at the time and another was due to excessive driver speed. In viewing the Maps at the bottom of the page, you can imagine how difficult it is for drivers to spot cyclists on the roadways near dusk and dawn.

Apart from last years 4 fatalities, dating back to 2005 there had only been 1 cyclist fatality in Vermont. This sharp increase in bicycle fatalities moved Vermont from the safest state in the country to ride a bicycle, to the most dangerous in 1 year!

Continue reading at Champlain Valley Law

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