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Every Bicyclist Counts – What We’re Counting

We have been gratified by the reception of our new website, Every Bicyclist Counts. The site is a memorial to cyclists who have been killed in the saddle. It is also a data-gathering tool that will help us learn more about the nature of fatal crashes — and hopefully prevent them. The project is meant to demonstrate the need for better reporting on these tragedies. We have already seen a lot of interest in this project from League members and cyclists in response to our latest appeal. If you would like to contribute, please donate here.

On Monday, we provided an early look at our very preliminary data. We are just beginning to track fatal crashes, but we are already re-examining some of our assumptions, based on the first 150 records.

We haven’t yet reported on all of the data we are collecting. Today, we want to share a little bit more about the information we’re collecting to give you  a sense of what is to come.

Currently, we are collecting information in the following categories:

  • Date of incident
  • Age of cyclist
  • Gender of cyclist
  • Obituary
  • Location (street, city, state, closest intersection)
  • Driver age
  • Crash time
  • Photo
  • Land Use
  • Road Type
  • Where on Road the Collision Occurred
  • Collision Type
  • Vehicle Type
  • Driver at Crash Time
  • Cyclist at Crash Time
  • Wearing helmet
  • Sources
  • Legal Status

The purpose of these particular questions is to build upon the data captured by the federal Fatalities Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and add richness and detail that can’t be found there. This allows us to check our data against the official federal database, while gaining a more complete picture of why these deaths occurred. What type of collision was it? What were the contributing factors? What were the features of the road? Was the driver distracted? If so, by what?

Members of the public are invited to email Elizabeth Kiker at Elizabeth[at] to notify us of cyclist fatalities as they occur or to add details about existing profiles. We want the most complete and up-to-date information possible.

We initially entered the deaths that we knew about in 2011. Please note that, going forward, we will only be able to track events that take place in 2012 and later. While we want to honor every cyclist, we are constrained in our ability to record past events. If we have missed any cyclists who were killed since January 1, 2012, please do let us know.

This practical constraint also explains why we are limiting the project to fatalities. We know that examining all crashes would be very instructive. Unfortunately, capturing those data would be a mammoth task, fraught with logistical complexity.

Thanks to the member contributions we’ve received so far, we’ve already added a new feature to Every Bicyclist Counts – a map. This custom, Google-powered map shows where the fatal crashes are occurring. Click here to see the map.

Thank you for your support for this project.


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