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SECTION III--TYPE OF PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED When Crashes Occur Bicycle crash frequencies are generally highest during the summer and lowest in the winter, but these trends may vary by region of the country, depending on general climate, rainfall, and other factors. Crashes fluctuate by day of the week year-to-year but are generally fairly evenly distributed, with somewhat fewer occurring on weekend days than week days. Various data sources indicate that crashes peak in the afternoon to early evening hours. In the Hunter et al. study (1996), the peak number of crashes occurred between the hours of 2 and 6 p.m. (41 percent). The second highest crash period was between the hours of 6 and 10 p.m. (25 percent). By contrast, only 9 percent of crashes occurred between the 4-hour periods of 6 to 10 a.m. NHTSA data mirror these time-of-day trends but also suggest that fatalities are over-represented in the later evening. More bicyclists were injured between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. (31 percent), but the highest period for fatalities was between 6 and 9 p.m. (23 percent of fatalities) (NHTSA, 2003). Nearly 96 percent of crashes occur during clear or cloudy weather when most riding is likely to occur, while about 4 percent of crashes occurred while it was raining (Hunter et al., 1996). Mirroring weather conditions, most crashes occur on dry roadways (92 percent), with about 7 percent occurring on wet roads and 1 percent under other conditions. Characteristics of the Victims Although declining in recent years, the fatality and injury rates among child riders, in parti- cular the 10- to 15-year-old age group, remain the highest per capita among any age group (Exhibit III-3), and about one-fifth of bicyclist traffic fatalities were between the ages of 5 and 15 in 2004. The share of fatalities accounted for by those under age 16 has been declining in recent years, however, from 37 percent in 1994 to 21 percent in 2004 (NHTSA, 19942004 data). Both the number and the proportion of fatalities among adults ages 35 and up has been increasing, from 36 percent of all bicyclist fatalities in 1994 to 59 percent in 2004. Crashes involving adult bicyclists ages 25 and up tend to be more serious, resulting in fatal and disabling injuries a higher percentage of the time. These trends may be due in part to where adults ride and the types of crashes in which they tend to be involved. Males of all ages account for the largest proportion of injured and killed bicyclists (76 percent and 87 percent in 2004, respectively), and the rates of injury and death are 3.4 times and 6.8 times those of females. These trends tend to hold up in various locations and jurisdictions and other data generally indicate that males account for around 70 to 80 percent of riders in most locations. As mentioned previously, alcohol use on the part of the bicyclist may be a factor in about 20 to 25 percent of bicyclist fatalities. Child bicyclists are deemed to be solely at fault 70 to 80 percent of the time in crashes with motor vehicles, while only about 40 percent of adult bicyclists are deemed to be at fault III-9