When it comes to bicycle traffic deaths, California's got the top spot, although Florida's trying to catch up. And Florida, after all, does have a secret weapon: most of their drivers can't see over the steering wheel, so it's a lot easier for their drivers to miss cyclists until after it occurs to them that the speed-bump they just ran over didn't sound quite right.
Nationally, cyclist traffic deaths jumped from 621 in 2010 to 680 in 2011 and 722 in 2012. The 16% increase was far greater than other motor vehicle fatalities, which rose by just 1% during this same time period.
Interestingly, 54% of all cyclist fatalities occur in six states, and they've all been pushing bicycle riding (Florida excepted). Fortunately, most of the carnage occurs around the "progressive" epicenters, so evolution may eventually weed out things to achieve something a bit closer to a steady state. Austin pushes bike riding, as do New York City and Chicago. And of course, there's California.
Oddly, Portland, Oregon has yet to see cyclist deaths spike to the acceptable levels achieved elsewhere, despite years of pushing cycling and their widespread implementation of hazards such as light rail and streetcar tracks. Perhaps Portland leaders simply haven't been as aggressive as their counterparts in other "progressive" enclaves. Alternatively, it may simply be that Portland has more female cyclists. In any case, most Darwin award recipients resulting from bicycle/vehicle collisions are males over age 20; 74% of them, in fact.
In 2012, two-thirds or more of fatally injured bicyclists were not wearing helmets, and 28% of riders age 16 and older had blood alcohol concentrations of .08% or higher, the level at which someone is considered impaired.
“What's notable here,” Williams said, “is that the percentage of fatally injured bicyclists with high BACs has remained relatively constant since the early 1980s and did not mirror the sharp drop in alcohol-impaired driving that occurred among passenger vehicle drivers in the 1980s and early 1990s.”
Presumably, the fact that you don't have to blow into a bicycle to start one figures into the equation. The push by "progressive" places to encourage bicycle commuting doesn't get a lot of play; despite the fact that it puts more bike-riders into urban traffic. At least that gets a brief mention in the embed provided above.
Unmentioned, however, is something that I see all the time: cyclists blowing through traffic-control devices. As a long-time rider myself, I can understand it when you're huffing up a steep hill at 3 miles an hour. But there's no excuse for it when you're cruising on a straightaway or downhill. One of the features that I really like about the car I acquired a few months ago is the turn-signal camera, which provides a clear view of any such idiots before you make the turn.