Bicycle-involved crashes on the rise in Virginia

Authorities in Virginia are warning that crashes involving bicycles are on the rise.

"We need to drive a little safer," said John Saunders of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. "We’re very concerned with our numbers right now."


Pedestrian, cyclist deaths increase 37 percent in 2022

The D.C. area Street Smart campaign says pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in the region increased 37 percent in 2022 compared to the year before.

So far this year, there have been 160 bicycle-involved crashes on Virginia roads, according to officials. They said it’s led to the death of nine cyclists, which is more than twice as many as at the same time one year ago.

"We’re coming into the riding season, so it’s gonna be a lot more folks out there, recreational riding and doing those things, and we just want everyone to do it in a safe manner," Saunders said.

ARLINGTON, VA - AUGUST 28: A cyclist is seen in the Cherrydale neighborhood in Arlington, VA, on August 28, 2022. (Photo by Craig Hudson for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Most cyclists who spoke with FOX 5 Tuesday in Arlington said the crash statistics didn’t surprise them.  

"I’ve heard about it," said Benjamin Paczak.

"I believe it," explained CJ Stowell, who added, "I’ve actually been hit by a car not three streets up."

The Virginia DMV also published a list of safety tips for both cyclists and drivers. 

Tips for Bicyclists:

• Always wear a properly-fitted helmet.

• Check your bike equipment before heading out.

• Ride in the same direction as traffic.

• Obey traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.

• Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others.

Tips for Motorists:

• Pass bicyclists on the road with care; allow at least three feet clearance.

• Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space.

• Yield to bicyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals.

• Look for bicyclists before making turns, either left or right.

• Respect designated bicycle lanes; don’t use them for parking, passing or turning.