Bicycle Accidents in the United States

Thanks to advocacy efforts across the country, the number of bicyclists on American roads has increased substantially over the past decade. As more riders are on the road, the likelihood of bicycle-related accidents increases. While many cities have taken steps to make roads a safer place for bicyclists, others have not. Until all cities embrace bicycle culture and initiate changes to the infrastructure, bicycle-related accidents will continue to be problematic.

Overview of Bicycle Accidents in the United States

Statistics show that while the overall number of bicycle accidents in the country is declining, the number of fatal bike accidents is on the rise. In 2015, there were 45,000 reported bicycle accidents in the United States, down from 50,000 reported accidents in the prior year. However, the number of fatal accidents increased by more than 12 percent during this same time.

Overall Decline in Bike Accidents

If more bicyclists are on the road than ever before, why are bicycle accidents happening less frequently? The answer may be due to the fact that advocacy groups have been successful in getting towns and cities across the country to embrace the bicycling culture.

“An increasing number of cities have added safety features – including bike lanes and protective medians – to its existing infrastructure,” says Sherwin Arzani, an attorney who handles bicycle accidents in Los Angeles, CA. Others have also ramped up efforts to engage the community about bicycle safety.

Drivers are encouraged to be alert of bicyclists and careful when sharing the road. Bicyclists have more information available to them about their legal obligations on the road and how they can help to prevent bike accidents.

Significant Increase in Fatal Bike Accidents

Fewer bike accidents are happening on American roads. However, a larger percentage of these accidents tend to be fatal. Why?

Reasons that the number of fatal bike accidents has risen include:

  • New bicyclists are less familiar with safe biking practices
  • Drivers are not using caution when sharing the road with bicyclists, and
  • Cities are planning, but have not implemented changes to infrastructure to support bicyclist safety.

Urban Bicycle Accidents

Statistics show that urban bicycle accidents (1) tend to happen more frequently and (2) result in more serious injuries. In fact, approximately 70 percent of all fatal bike accidents happen in our nation’s cities. Cities tend to have much more heavily-traveled roads and less flexibility to install bicycle safety features than suburban and rural areas.

Most Dangerous Cities for Bicyclists

Statistics show that the following cities tend to be the most dangerous for bicyclists:

  1. Albuquerque, NM
  2. Tucson, AZ
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Phoenix, AZ
  5. San Jose, CA
  6. Columbus, OH
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Memphis, TN
  9. Philadelphia, PA
  10. Los Angeles, CA.

Most of these cities have seen a staggering increase in the number of bicyclists on the roads. San Francisco, for example, saw a 13 percent increase in riders between 2011 and 2016. The number of riders in Albuquerque has risen by more than 46 percent since 2000.

Safest Cities for Bicyclists

Smaller cities tend

Vehicle Tax Exemption – United States Department of State

The Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) enforces the exemption of eligible foreign missions and their members from payment of any taxes when purchasing, leasing, registering or titling a vehicle. The following procedures are associated with requesting and obtaining a tax exemption on purchases or leases of official or personal motor vehicles by eligible foreign missions and their members in the United States. A “motor vehicle” is defined as any self-propelled vehicle, including but not limited to automobiles, motorcycles, boats, and aircraft.

The exemption of sales and use taxes imposed on purchases or leases of motor vehicles in the United States on the basis of the diplomatic or consular status or accreditation of the purchasing foreign mission or accredited mission member and their dependents is solely authorized via the issuance of a Motor Vehicle Tax-Exemption Letter by the Department’s Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) to the seller or lessor of such motor vehicle. Note that Diplomatic Tax Exemption Cards are not valid for exemption from taxes imposed on purchases of motor vehicles.

Therefore, prior to finalizing a purchase or lease of a motor vehicle, all foreign missions and their accredited members must instruct the seller/lessor to directly contact OFM during normal business hours to request the issuance of a Motor Vehicle Tax-Exemption Letter.

Motor vehicle sellers/lessors may make such requests by electronic mail or telephone.

Sellers/lessors in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia should direct requests to OFMTaxCustoms@state.gov. Sellers/lessors outside this area should direct requests to the nearest OFM Regional Office:

Sellers/lessors must provide the following information to OFM:

1. The seller/lessor’s name, mailing address, and telephone and fax numbers;

2. The color, year, make, and model of the motor vehicle that the mission or accredited mission member is planning to acquire; and

3. For official motor vehicles: the name of the foreign mission that is purchasing or leasing a motor vehicle; or

4. For personal motor vehicles: the name (as it appears on their current “A or G series” visa) of the accredited mission member or their dependent who is purchasing or leasing a motor vehicle, the name of the foreign mission to which the individual is assigned, and the individual’s Department-issued Personal Identification Number (PID). (Note that individuals must present proof of accreditation to the seller/lessor – i.e., valid passport which contains their current “A or G series” visa, or Department-issued protocol identification card, or Department-issued driver’s license, or Department-issued Diplomatic Tax Exemption Card.)

OFM strives to transmit Motor Vehicle Tax-Exemption Letters to the requesting seller/lessor by either electronic mail or facsimile within two hours of receiving the request.

Sellers/lessors are required to send all original ownership documents directly to OFM so that the motor vehicle can be properly registered and titled. Auto dealerships and state motor vehicle administrations should treat this transaction as an out of state registration. OFM will issue a registration card and federal license plates once proper documentation is received. Also, a title will be sent to the indicated lien holder to protect

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