TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Many cyclists in the Tucson area know there are certain areas to avoid for your own safety. One of those areas downtown is now being recognized by a Chicago area law firm as the most dangerous stretch of road for bike riders in Tucson.
RK & M law firm ranked the most dangerous roads in America for bicyclists in 34 cities ranging from Fresno to Baltimore. After gathering information on bike collisions, injuries, and fatalities the firm says that East Congress Street between Fifth and Scott avenues is the most dangerous street in Tucson.
To see RK and M's list of all 34 cities click HERE.
Numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show 1,000 bicyclists died in 2015 and almost half a million bike riders sustained injuries.
In 2016, bicyclists accounted for 2.2 percent of all traffic deaths. The NHTSA says bicyclist deaths happen most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and 71 percent of the time they happen in urban areas.
Bicyclists in Tucson say they're very aware of those dangers and that many of them actually avoid riding on Congress out of fear for their own safety and because they face backlash from the drivers with whom they are trying to share the road.
"There seems to be a higher percentage of drivers that feel that bicyclists don't really belong in the road and that cars sort of own the road, that bicyclists shouldn't be here. So I just find that cars are a little deferential to bikes," international cyclist Ted Johnson said.
One of the biggest problems they say is the lack of a bike lane on the street. One Tucson-area bike rider says without a bike lane they're cramped with very little room to move.
Another issue bike riders cite is the tracks for street cars. Often their bike tires get stuck in those tracks and when that happens while sharing the same road with cars they say its a scary situation.
Johnson travels for work and brings his bike with him on his trips. In his experience riding his bike across the world, he says that in the U.S. drivers are far less kind to bike riders.
Last year Johnson got into an accident after being hit by a driver while riding his bike in Tokyo. He broke his neck but thankfully had no spinal injuries. After his accident, Johnson has one piece of advice for his fellow bicyclists.
"Wear your helmet. I always wear my helmet. Like I said I got hit in Japan last year and I think I wouldn't be here but for having my helmet on. So you know, wear your helmet and be aware of the laws of physics," he said.