Bicycle Accident Statistics in Indiana: Information and Tips for Safer Biking

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Updated July 12, 2023


Indiana is increasingly becoming bike-friendly with its hundreds of miles of bike lanes. But with traffic accidents trending up across Indiana and the US, bicyclists are at greater risk of severe injury or death. 

This article provides the latest statistics on bicycle accidents in Indiana and the United States, offering revealing insights into the current situation.

Bicycle Accident Statistics: Indiana and Nationwide

When bicycle accidents happen, they can be significant. Like motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents are more likely to be severe or fatal because of the bicyclist’s vulnerable, exposed position. Moreover, bicyclists have nothing surrounding them to protect them from an impact. In comparison, in a car crash, vehicles protect the drivers by absorbing much of the impact. Bicycles are unable to protect their riders in this way. 

Additionally, when a bicyclist collides with a car or another vehicle, the disparity in size and speed can lead to catastrophic results.  

Bicycle Injuries Nationwide

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Each year, over 130,000 bicyclists sustain injuries across the United States. 
  • Bicycle injuries and deaths cost more than $23 billion annually. These costs include healthcare-related expenses, lost work productivity, quality of life, and loss of life. 
  • Individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 represent approximately one-third of all bicycle-related injuries treated in emergency departments. 

Bicycle Deaths Nationwide

The following statistics, taken from the National Safety Council, illustrate some concerning trends in bicyclist fatalities: 

  • In 2020, there were 1,260 bicyclist deaths, with 806 resulting from motor-vehicle traffic crashes. The rest occurred in other non-traffic accidents. 
  • Nationally, deaths from bicycle transportation incidents increased by 16% in 2020. They also increased by 44% from 2011 to 2020, indicating a much larger trend.
  • Most deaths occur during the warmer months. For example, in 2020, the largest amount of bicycle-related deaths occurred in August (157); the fewest occurred in February (52). 
  • Most victims of bicycle fatalities are men, at 89%. This is more than eight times greater than female bicyclist deaths. 

Additional statistics from the CDC provide more details on bicycle death trends: 

  • Adults between 55 and 69 are most likely to die in a bicycle accident. 
  • Most bicycle deaths happen in urban areas rather than rural ones. 
  • Most fatal bicycle accidents (64%) happen in higher-speed areas, away from intersections. Only 27% take place at intersections. 
  • Alcohol consumption contributes to approximately one-third of fatal bicycle accidents involving either the motorist, the bicyclist, or both. 

Indiana Bicycle Accident Statistics

Indiana is following national trends when it comes to bicycle accidents. 

  • In Indianapolis, bicyclist deaths fluctuated between one and five per year between 2015 and 2020. However, there were seven cyclist deaths in 2021, according to IndyStar. 
  • As of 2021, there are 730 miles of bike routes across the state. 
  • In 2019, bicycle accidents and fatalities were trending down. That year, there were 14 fatalities and 744 total accidents involving bicycles in Indiana, which was lower than in previous years. However, traffic accidents increased overall in 2020 during the pandemic and have remained high.
  • In 2020, there were 20 bicyclist fatalities in Indiana

These statistics underline the concerning rise of bicycle accidents and fatalities in Indiana and nationwide. And many, if not most, of these accidents are preventable. Bicyclists, motorists, and legislators can all play a role in reducing the number of bicycle injuries and fatalities by being aware of safety tips and road rules.

Bicycle Safety Tips

Keeping the roads safe is a shared responsibility whether you’re a bicyclist or a motorcyclist.  Here are some ways bicyclists can stay safe on the road, along with tips for motor vehicle drivers. 

Wear a Helmet

One way that bicyclists can prevent severe injury is to wear a helmet every time. A study conducted by Attewell, Glase, and Mcfadden showed that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 60%. Additionally, they reduce the risk of brain injuries by 58%. Bicycle head injury statistics consistently show that helmets are the best way to reduce head injuries and traumatic brain injuries. 

Helmet laws can play a significant role in reducing injury and death. As of May 2023, 22 states have enacted mandatory helmet laws for children. It’s crucial for children to wear properly fitting helmets whenever they ride a bicycle to reduce the risk of head injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, no state has mandatory helmet laws for adult bicyclists. Studies from U.S. cities and other countries with mandatory helmet laws show that these laws are effective. Countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have seen an increase in helmet use among adults.

Stay Alert

To reduce bicycle accidents, bicycles and motorists should always stay alert. Bicyclists should practice defensive driving using some of the following strategies: 

  • Avoid assuming that vehicles see or know they are there.
  • Watch out for any cars that are turning or backing up. 
  • Make eye contact with drivers when changing lanes or turning. 
  • Be cautious of drivers opening a car door in their path.
  • Always drive sober.
  • Avoid using headphones and other electronic devices while driving. 

Stay Visible

Bright or fluorescent clothing can help drivers see you better. Avoid wearing dark colors, especially at night. Using reflective materials on your clothing, helmet, or bicycle can also help drivers see you in the dark. Additionally, adding active lighting may be the best way to stay visible at night. Many states, including Indiana, require lighting when riding bikes at night.

What Can Motorists Do?

Motorists can do their part to prevent bicycle accidents. First, drivers should be extra cautious and double-check before entering or exiting a roadway. When driving near a bicycle lane, drivers should maintain a safe driving distance of 3 feet. Finally, drivers should check for bicycles when changing lanes or crossing a bike lane. 

Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Consult with an Experienced Indiana Accident Attorney

If you have been in a car or bicycle accident in Indiana, the lawyers at WKW can help. We can assist you in recovering the damages you need to rebuild your life. Our attorneys are experienced and successful at litigating on behalf of bicyclists who have been injured. Contact us today at 317-830-3292 or fill out our contact form so that we can review your case as soon as possible. 

Contact Us

Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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