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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bike crashes on the rise in Fairfax County

Statistics on bicycle crashes in Fairfax County for the first six months of 2011 show the Mason and McLean Districts are tied for the most, with eight each.

None of the crashes in 2011 involved the death of a bicyclist. Two incidents were hit and runs where the driver fled after striking a bicyclist. In nearly 59 percent of the crashes, the bicyclist was found to be at fault.

Countywide, there were 46 reportable bike crashes this year, a significant increase over the 32 crashes in the first half of 2010. Last year there were four crashes in the county resulting in the death of a bicyclist.

The police report doesn’t speculate on the reason for the increase, but we can come up with some possibilities: Biking seems to be getting more popular; traffic is generally much worse all over the area; and drivers seem to be distracted by texting and other smart phone functions.

Here are some crashes that occurred in 2011 in the Mason District/Annandale area:
  • March 4 – Guinea Road near Little River Turnpike - bicyclist at fault but not charged.
  • April 4 - Intersection of Annandale Road and Barrett Road – driver charged with reckless driving.
  • April 7 – Little River Turnpike/Old Columbia Pike – bicyclist at fault but not charged.
  • April 10 – Arlington Boulevard/Graham Road – bicyclist charged with reckless driving.
  • May 15 – Columbia Pike/Leesburg Pike – fault unknown.
  • May 26 – Queen Elizabeth Boulevard/Woodland Way – bicyclist at fault but not charged.
  • June 17 – Gorham Street/Leesburg Pike – driver charged with failing to pay attention.
If you’ve been taking your life in your hands riding a bike on county roads and are interested in urging Fairfax County to provide safer routes for bicylists, you might want to get involved with Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicyling.

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