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Drivers overtaking bikes biggest reason for fatal cycling crashes

McClatchyDC: “Drivers overtaking bike riders are the biggest cause of death among cyclists, says a study released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board. Bike safety is a growing problem that appears to be getting more worrisome, and, the board reported, “current available data likely underestimate the level of bicycling activity in the United States.” In 2017, 806 cyclists died in crashes with motor vehicles, which it found “was comparable to the deaths resulting from railroad or marine accidents and more than twice the number of deaths resulting from aviation accidents in the same year.” Last year, the death toll jumped to 857, its highest since 1990. The NTSB report, its most comprehensive look at bicycle safety in 47 years, comes as both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are pushing hard to provide more funding for what they see as a growing problem.

The safety board’s findings gave them new fuel for their effort. “If we do not improve roadway infrastructure for bicyclists, bicyclists will die who otherwise would not,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “If we do not enhance bicyclist (visibility), likewise, additional bicyclists will die,” he told the board as it met Tuesday to discuss the report. “If we do not act to mitigate head injury for more bicyclists, additional bicyclists will die.”…”

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