City Desk

There Have Been 95 Reported Crashes on Capital Bikeshare Since Its Launch

Capital Bikeshare celebrated its 7 millionth trip yesterday morning, a figure that, at least statistically, could easily be accompanied by a scary number of bike crashes.

There were nearly 49,000 bike accidents nationwide in 2012—the most recent year data is available—according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That year there were 726 bike accident fatalities.

But since Capital Bikeshare launched in September 2010, there have been no fatalities on the program's bikes. According to the District Department of Transportation, there have been 95 reported crashes on the red bikes. (Capital Bikeshare gets its numbers from reports of crashes from its members, police, and the media, so it's possible not all crashes have been reported.)

Of those 95 reported crashes, 31 of them (or 32.6 percent) involved a trip to the hospital. Forty-eight (or 50.5 percent) did not involve a trip to the hospital, and 16 (or 16.8 percent) of the accident reports did not indicate whether they required a hospital visit or not, according to Eric Gilliland, the general manager of Capital Bikeshare.

In May, a man riding a Capital Bikeshare program was taken to a hospital with serious to life-threatening injuries after a car hit him and fled the scene.

New York City's Citi Bike recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and Slate reported yesterday that, despite people warning before the program's launch that riders would die on the bikes, that program hasn't had any deaths, either. Citi Bike has clocked about 8.75 million trips and has had about 100 crash reports, 25 of which required a trip to the ER.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery.

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  • E Pilsk

    We pay a high societal cost for the convenience and mobility of the automobile,particularly in urban areas, and articles like this help highlight that cost and pose the question of whether it is worth it. It would be an interesting follow-up to this article to compare Bikeshare's accident/fatality rate with that of cars over a similar period of time. It would also be interesting to compare how many pedestrians were injured by cars compared to bikes (Bikeshare or otherwise.

  • JW

    0.135714% of users have crashed since the program began. Not bad.

  • JH

    I think a large part of the low incident rates are due to the built-in safety measures like flashing lights on front and back and CaBi's reminders to be safe and wear helmets that are posted on the bikes and at stations.