San Antonio earned a bronze award from The League of American Bicyclists in 2020. The organization issued this award based on several metrics, including the percentage of roads with bicycle facilities and the accident rate per 10,000 cyclists.

But before San Antonio can reach the silver award level, it must reduce its number of accidents. Although it’s been lauded for its bike-friendliness, the city has almost three times as many vehicle-bicycle collisions as it should have based on its population. It also has less than one-seventh of the bike facilities it should for its size.

San Antonio Bicycle Accident Statistics

According to a query on Texas’s Crash Records Information System (CRIS), San Antonio had 294 bicycle accidents in 2021.

These included collisions between 294 bicycles and:

  • One motorcycle
  • Six semi-trucks
  • 287 passenger vehicles

No collisions between bicycles and pedestrians were reported to the police in 2021. There were also no reported collisions between buses and bicycles in San Antonio that year.

Bicycle Crash Outcomes

According to CRIS, bike crashes in 2021 caused:

  • Five fatal injuries
  • Ten serious injuries that incapacitated the cyclist
  • 159 visible injuries that did not incapacitate the cyclist
  • 51 possible injuries that were invisible but produced symptoms like pain

In all, just over 23% of cyclists walked away from their crashes unscathed.

When Do San Antonio Bike Accidents Happen?

Bicycle crashes drop in the summer and winter. During the summer, Texas’s hot weather reduces the number of cyclists on the roads and, in the process, reduces the number of bike crashes.

However, during the spring and fall, bicyclists and crashes peak. According to CRIS, October had the most crashes in 2021, while March had the fewest.

Most bicycle crashes happen during the work week due to the number of students and workers who use bicycles to commute. Tuesdays and Fridays were particularly dangerous for San Antonio bicyclists in 2021. The safest day to ride was Sunday.

Collisions between bikes and motor vehicles were most likely to occur during the afternoon commute. Crash numbers started to rise around 3 p.m. and peaked between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Another small jump in crash numbers happened during the morning commute between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Common Causes of Bike Accidents in San Antonio, TX

The most common location for bicycle crashes in 2021 was intersections at roads and driveways. Over 60% of bicycle accidents happened at or near an intersection, and another 16% happened where a driveway met a road.

The most common causes of intersection crashes in San Antonio included:

  • Failing to yield the right-of-way (25%)
  • Distracted driving (16%) and distracted bicycling (5%)
  • Running a red light or stop sign (12%)

Failure to yield the right-of-way can happen for a few reasons. Bicycles are smaller than cars, and drivers often do not spot bicyclists as they approach intersections. Drivers have a cognitive bias toward spotting larger motor vehicles like cars, vans, and SUVs.

The fault can also fall on cyclists who dart into traffic at intersections against the traffic lights or signals. Drivers do not expect cross-traffic when they approach an intersection, and a cyclist who fails to yield to approaching drivers can get hit.

Only about 24% of bicycle collisions happened between intersections.

The most common causes of these crashes included:

  • Distracted driving (31%)
  • Failing to yield to cyclists in crosswalks (8%)
  • Making unsafe lane changes (4%)

For motorists, intersection accidents are more dangerous than roadway accidents. But for bicyclists, roadway and intersection accidents are equally dangerous.

For example, a rear-end collision in a vehicle can cause whiplash. But a rear-end collision on a bicycle can eject the cyclist. When they hit the ground, they can suffer severe scrapes and lacerations, fractured bones, and even internal injuries.

Similarly, a sideswipe collision in a vehicle rarely causes injuries, but sideswipe collisions on a bicycle can send the cyclist off the road or into oncoming traffic.

Bicycle Accident Hotspots in San Antonio

Bicycle accidents happen throughout the city. That said, a few intersections had multiple accidents in 2021.

These bicycle accident hotspots include:

  • Losoya St. and Houston St.
  • Alamo St. and Market St.
  • Jackson St. and Evergreen St.
  • Alamo St. and 8th St.
  • Navarro St. and Commerce St.

The common factor among these intersections is traffic congestion. In heavy traffic, bicycles have more interactions with cars, increasing the odds that they will collide.

Bicycle Infrastructure in San Antonio

San Antonio has a bicycle master plan. As part of its provisions, the city has built bicycle facilities that cover about 5% of major roads.

Going forward, the plan calls for additional infrastructure, including:

  • Bike lanes identified by painted lines
  • Buffered bike lanes spaced from motor vehicle traffic by a gap
  • Separated bike lanes protected from motor vehicle traffic by a barrier
  • Cycle tracks with one or two separated bike lanes
  • Multi-use trails that only permit pedestrians and bicycles

San Antonio’s bicycle infrastructure is centered around its major roads. The city also provides several recreational multi-use trails through greenways and parks. You can find a complete map of San Antonio’s bicycle infrastructure on the city’s website.

San Antonio’s VIA Metropolitan Transit also provides infrastructure for bicyclists. You can use VIA buses and trains to supplement your route through San Antonio. These public transportation options include racks to stow your bicycle while you ride.

You can use buses and trains to extend the distance you can travel on your bike or to take you to places without bicycle facilities.

Riding Your Bicycle Safely in San Antonio, Texas

Cycling in San Antonio can be dangerous. But if you take a few precautions, you can ride safely in the city. Try to plan your route to include as many bike trails as possible to minimize your risk of being struck by a vehicle. Exercise caution at intersections when you leave the trails, and always wear a helmet.

San Antonio is building its reputation for bike friendliness. With time and investment, the city could become one of the best places in Texas to ride a bicycle.