People Powered Movement
America’s roads are dangerous. In fact, the United States reports more fatal and injury-causing traffic accidents than most other countries across the globe. European countries consistently report low incidents of traffic accidents. Why? Many countries in Europe have fully embraced bicyclists and pedestrians.
Visit a European country and you’ll be amazed at the infrastructure. American roads are built for cars and designed for speed. European roads are built to accommodate many modes of transportation and are designed for safety.
Increased bike lanes, sidewalks, and other safety measures will not only keep us safe but also increase the number of Americans who choose to bike or walk. This will have astounding benefits for our public and personal health and well-being.
About People Powered Movement
The mission of People Powered Movement is to make America a friendlier place for bicyclists and pedestrians through united advocacy efforts. As cities and towns across the country embrace changes in their infrastructure to accommodate bikes and walkers, America will become a safer place. Our goal is to provide useful information regarding bike and pedestrian safety and create, strengthen, and unite state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations throughout North America.
Bicycle Accidents and Personal Injury Cases on the Rise
There were over 1260 bicyclists fatalities in 2020, an increase of 16% compared to 2019. In 2021, there were 7,485 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. — the largest number of pedestrian fatalities in four decades.
A recent study estimates that the costs of fatal and non-fatal bicycle accidents in the U.S. to be exceed $23 billion dollars each year. These costs include medical bills, productivity loss, and burden on the legal system due to personal injury lawsuits.
We recently interviewed a couple of accident and injury attorneys who handle these types of cases and their response is the same. According to Gregg Hollander, a bicycle accident lawyer in South Florida, “Bicycle accident personal injury claims are on the rise and it’s critical that accident victims stand up for themselves and fight for their legal rights”.
Florida is the leading state for bicycle accidents and fatalities. According to the US Department of Transportation, Florida had a total of 8,323 bicycle crashes in 2023, including 215 fatalities and 5,972 injuries.
Preliminary statistics for 2024 show that there has been 1 bicycle deaths and 128 injuries from bicycle crashes so far (as of 1/13/2024). “The number of bicycle and pedestrian accidents keep increasing every year. People should know that they can receive compensation if someone else negligently injures them while they are walking down the street or riding their bicycle to work,” says Sagi Shaked, a bicycle accident attorney in Miami, FL.
We have partnered with policy experts, advocacy organizations, cycling enthusiasts, and legal advocates to bring you data-driven information to help lawmakers at the state and federal level make informed decisions regarding biking and walking policies.
Increase in Bicycle Use & Walking Across the Nation
Across the country, an increasing number of Americans are ditching their cars and opting to bike or walk. In fact, the number of bicycle commuters in the country has nearly doubled (nearly 200%) in the last decade.
More cyclists have been popping up in cities and towns that have made efforts to make roads more bicyclist-friendly.
Cities with the highest percentage of biking commuters include:
- Portland, OR (6.3%)
- Washington, DC (5.0%)
- Minneapolis, MN (3.9%)
- San Francisco, CA (3.1%)
- New Orleans, LA (2.9%)
- Seattle, WA (2.8%)
Statistics show that the following American cities demonstrated particularly large increases in bicycle traffic in recent years:
- Houston, TX (138% increase)
- Los Angeles, CA (93% increase)
- New York City, NY (50% increase)
Bicycle sales as a whole also doubled in the US by March 2020. The source notes that this increase corresponds with the increase in demand for bicycling since the pandemic began.
Initiatives & Advocacy for Safer Streets
Many cities across the country are trying to do their part to increase the number of commuters who choose to use alternative modes of transportation. Why? Studies continue to show that when bicyclists and pedestrians have access to safe infrastructure, they embrace it.
Increased biking and walking is correlated with less traffic, fewer overall accidents, and increased health and well-being. Cities are beginning to understand that they can affect all of these changes by simply installing some inexpensive bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure measures.
Cities Responding to Advocacy Groups
After Portland, OR installed dedicated bike lanes and traffic-calming measures on its roads, the number of bicyclists in the city exploded. In fact, the changes allowed Portland to boast one of the highest percentages of bike commuting in the country.
Portland’s bike initiative was propelled, in part, thanks to a strong local advocacy campaign. This highlights the importance of organizing and campaigning for bicycle and pedestrian safety. When advocacy groups can show the city the benefits of embracing the bicycling and walking communities, change can happen.