The Iowa Bicycle Coalition has issued a new report with data highlighting a rise in bicycle crashes in Iowa.  Major injuries have risen over 30% in the past three years and overall crashes are up 11%.  Bicyclists are supporting efforts in the Iowa Legislature to pass a law requiring three feet of distance when passing a bicyclist.

The Coalition has tracked fatal bicycle crashes since 2008.  This year, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition has assembled a report of bicycle crashes, including non-fatal crashes.

“Fatal crashes only tell a fraction of the story about bicycle safety in Iowa,”  says Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.  “Fatal bicycle crashes are declining,  but overall bicycle crashes climbed 11%. More alarming, crashes resulting in major injuries have risen over 30% in three years”

Bicycle Crashes at non-intersection locations with no special features have grown from 100 crashes in 2010 to 142 crashes in 2012.  Bicycle crashes in the under 16 age group are have declined, but the 16 to 24 year-old age group rose from 88 crashes to 106 crashes.

Fatal bicycle crashes have been on the decline, dropping from eight in 2010 to three in 2012.  Bicycle crashes resulting in injuries have risen from 400 in 2010 to 467 in 2012.

“Compared to driving, bicycling is very safe,” states Wyatt.  “But we can do more.  The Iowa Legislature has a three-foot passing bill in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate that could make a difference.  Over 20 states have passed similar laws.  A three-foot passing distance can be taught in driver’s education, placed on the driver’s exam, and included in the driver’s manual.”

The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is a statewide bicycle advocacy organization with over 1,600 members across Iowa.  The Coalition creates partnerships, educates Iowans, and helps build safe and enjoyable bicycle networks for recreation and transportation.

Click to view 2010-2012 Iowa Bicycle Crash Data