Pedalcyclist Fatalities and Socioeconomic Status: A Spatial Epidemiological Study of the United States, 2011–2013


  • Justin T. McDaniel Southern Illinois University
  • Margaret Shields Fort Lewis College
  • Aaron J. Diehr Southern Illinois University
  • Kate H. Thomas Charleston Southern University
  • Wendi Middleton Southern Illinois University



pedalcyclist fatalities, socioeconomic status, bicycle friendliness


Bicycling is a popular recreation activity and mode of transportation among the American workforce. While safety standards are key factors in reducing risk for a cycling fatality, contextual factors also play a role. State-level data for this study were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau, the League of American Bicyclists, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Trend analysis was conducted via ANOVA and the trajectory of the pedalcyclist fatality rate (PFR) from 2011 to 2013 was determined. Linear regression was conducted and the influence of socioeconomic variables on PFR between 2011 and 2013 was determined. The average statelevel PFR increased between 2011 and 2013; however, the trend was not statistically significant. Regression analysis showed that socioeconomic variables were significant predictors of PFR, after controlling for relevant covariates. To improve cycling safety, states should not only adopt legislation and infrastructure that support cycling but also consider implementing innovative road-safety educational programs in resource-deprived areas.

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Author Biographies

Justin T. McDaniel, Southern Illinois University

Assistant Professor of Public Health

Southern Illinois University

475 Clocktower Dr.

Carbondale, IL 62901

Margaret Shields, Fort Lewis College

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

Fort Lewis College

1000 Rim Dr.

Durango, CO 81301

Aaron J. Diehr, Southern Illinois University

Assistant Professor of Public Health

Southern Illinois University

475 Clocktower Dr.

Carbondale, IL 52901

Kate H. Thomas, Charleston Southern University

Assistant Professor of Health Promotion

Charleston Southern University

9200 University Blvd.

Charleston, SC 29406

Wendi Middleton, Southern Illinois University

Assistant Professor of Public Health

Southern Illinois University

475 Clocktower Dr.

Carbondale, IL 62901


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