The raw number of traffic collisions with bicycles/bicyclists in Louisville Metro increased from 159 to 185 between 2010 and 2011, while the raw number of injury accidents involving bicyclists rose 34% between 2010 and 2011 (rising from 102 to 137).
When adjusting for population change (by looking at the rate of traffic accidents involving bicyclists per 100,000 people in Louisville Metro) we see a similar increase between 2010 and 2011. There was a 13% increase in the rate per 100,000 for all collisions, and a 30% increase in the rate for collisions with injuries (the 2011 population number has been estimated, see the note in chart below).
It would be interesting to perform further research to shed more light behind the reasons for this significant increase. One theory might be that as bicycling has increased in popularity in our cities, the larger number of people on the roads leads to an obvious increase in traffic collisions with bicyclists. But if this is in fact the case, how do investments in bicycling infrastructure and safety education campaigns fit into the equation?
If possible, I would love to spur some discussion on this subject, so please post or encourage any bicyclists you know to visit and discuss bicycling safety issues in Louisville, Lexington, or any where else.
And look forward to more analysis on this issue coming soon!!