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Per an article on azcentral.com on Sunday November 4th, 2012:
The city of Phoenix averages between 450 and 500 accidents a year involving bicycles and vehicles, resulting in around 10 deaths per year, according to the city’s Street Transportation Department.
In such accidents, the person on the bicycle rarely has a chance.
“A bicyclist can be doing everything right and still end up wrong,” said Sandy Adams, traffic-education program manager for Glendale, which has averaged 36 bicycle accidents a year since the start of 2007, with two deaths since then.
Nationally, more than half a million people annually are treated in emergency rooms after bicycle accidents, and more than 700 people are killed.
In 1975, two-thirds of those who died were younger than 16. Now, that has reversed, with 86 percent of deaths among those older than 16.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Arizona has consistently been in the top 10 for bicycle traffic fatalities. In 2009, the state ranked fifth in the nation, although it is the 16th-most-populous state.
The state saw 19 bicycle traffic fatalities in 2010 and 25 in 2009. The states with more deaths are considerably more populous — California, Florida, Texas, New York and others.
Jeremy Stapleton, volunteer chair of a Phoenix subcommittee on bicycling, says the prevalence of vehicles not accustomed to bicycles plays a part, as well.
Making the city better for bikes is a tough job, he said, with funding and political will lacking.
“We have a long way to go,” he said, “but if we don’t start, we’ll never get anywhere.”
Kerry Wilcoxon, traffic-safety supervisor for the Phoenix Street Transportation Department, said the city is working on improvements to bicycle infrastructure, including more bike lanes, marked crosswalks, over- and underpasses, and the like.
In addition, Phoenix and other Arizona cities consistently try to educate bike riders on safety, emphasizing helmet use and other protections.
More than half the accidents are the motorist’s fault. But most of those involved in accidents who end up in emergency rooms and morgues are the people on the bikes.