In the state of Pennsylvania, bicyclists are considered vehicles when on the road and are required to abide by the same laws as other vehicles. This includes bicycle helmet laws, which are only required to be worn by any persons under the age of 12. However, experts recommend that bicyclists of all ages wear helmets, thus greatly reducing incidents of injury and/or death.
Bicycle helmets must be line with Approved Helmet Safety Standards, which includes regulations from: the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), The Snell Foundation, and/or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The CPSC being the standard in U.S. Law following 1999.
How Often Do Car Accidents & Bicycle Crashes Occur?
Every year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reports on the number of traffic accidents statewide, including: number of incidents, deaths, and injuries. Each year the report includes the collected statistics for the previous five years and includes a comprehensive list of all ages, days, times, and locations that play a factor in traffic accidents.
In 2016, Pennsylvania car accidents totaled 129,395, with 1,188 deaths and 82,971 injuries. 1,304 of these accidents involved bicyclists, resulting in 16 deaths and 1,298 injuries. Spread out over a year, that’s more than 3 bicycle accidents in Pennsylvania every day. Most of these bicycle accidents will result in lifelong medical expenses and significant loss of productivity.
Looking at 2011 to 2016, 2016 has the highest accident rate. The year with the lowest accident rate was 2014 with 121,317 accidents. Philadelphia, being the largest city in Pennsylvania, averaged the highest number of working bicyclists in the entire state of Pennsylvania during the year of 2013. Philadelphia coming in with a reported crash high of 541 bicycle accidents in 2013, with the overall number of crashes being 1,383, but resulting in zero deaths.