If you’re going to start biking to work, or cutting back on your car use, good on you. There are plenty of physical and environmental benefits that come with regular cycling.
But what if you get in a bike accident? Is that even likely? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Let’s explore that. Here are 5 biking statistics you need to know when you’re considering picking up cycling.
1. Bicycling Injuries Account for 900 Deaths in the U.S. Every Year.
Biking, especially in cities and along heavily congested roads, has its risks. About 900 people die annually from biking related injuries. Every year hundreds of thousands of people get into a bike accident.
In part, the risks come from drivers who don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them. But fortunately, laws like this one are there to protect more cyclists everywhere.
Infrastructure is getting better too. More towns have barriers between bike lanes and the main mode of traffic.
To stay safe while cycling on busy streets, make sure you and your bike are visible. Wear your helmet and road gloves, and always ride as if the driver doesn’t see you.
Fortunately, we’re seeing fewer people die each year from biking accidents. And we hope the roads will only keep getting safer.
2. Helmets Decreased the Risk Head and the Brain Injury By 65%-88%
There’s a lot of debate on the effectiveness of helmets. Many people say that they don’t help that much.
Depending on the accident, that may be the case. You can’t control what kind of bike accident you’re in. If you could – there wouldn’t be any bike accidents at all.
But if you’re in an accident where you hit your head or your face, your helmet will be there to protect you. It lowers your risk of head or brain injury by 65% to 88%.
So if you’re a regular commuter on dangerous roads and you want to protect your head, you need to wear your helmet.
More features that can keep you safe? Good visibility. Make sure you have bright head and tail lights for low light cycling or rainy days.
You might also want to consider fluorescent exercise wear. This can boost your visibility too.
Remember, if drivers can see you, you’re less likely to be in an accident.
3. The Main Reason People Don’t Bike is Because They Don’t Feel Safe
Despite infrastructure improvements, many people still don’t feel safe while riding their bikes. That’s fair. As we’ve covered, people get hurt and injured every single day.
But there are things you can do to improve your safety. As we discussed, wear a helmet and make sure drivers can see you. You can also try to pick out routes that don’t have a lot of traffic, or that have a secure and separate bike lane.
Yes, biking, especially on city streets, is still dangerous. But that doesn’t mean the risks should hold you back. There are a lot of benefits that come from cycling that far outweigh the risks.
Another common problem is the weather. Inclement weather makes cycling more dangerous. There’s less visibility and more hazards on the road.
For many people, the practicality nature of biking gets in their way. If you have things to haul – groceries, work supplies, etc – it makes biking harder. Then you have to deal with being sweaty when you get to your destination.
All these things can be overcome. But if we want to get more people out biking, we need to improve our city’s infrastructure first. We need to make biking safe.
4. Transportation Emits 1.9 Billion Tons of CO2 Annually
If you’re worried about global warming, biking is a great way to cut your emissions. The transportation sector emits 1.9 billion tons of CO2 annually.
And for the first time, that number is bigger than the CO2 emissions that come from the power grid. It’s time we rethink our transportation.
Cycling is cost-effective and zero-emission. If cycling is too impractical for you, consider an electric bike. This way you can get all the health benefits that come from biking, and you can help the environment.
Cycling is better for the planet than green cars and public transportation.
If everyone cycled, we would have less air pollution, and we would need fewer roads. We could repurpose land that’s currently dedicated to parking lots. We could create new businesses, homes, and parks.
All the while, we’d be cutting carbon emissions and working to fight global warming.
5. Cycling Can Protect You From 5 of the Top 10 Most Common Causes of Death
Cycling protects you from five of the top ten most common causes of death. But it does put you at much greater risk for one of them.
The ten most common causes of death are:
- Heart Disease
- Unintentional Injuries
- Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
- Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Influenza and Pneumonia
- Kidney Disease
Of these, cycling can prevent heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and suicide. That’s in part due to the benefits of regular, consistent exercise.
You’ll notice unintentional injuries are on the list. Biking does increase your risk. But it’s worth it.
After all, the healthiest people aren’t the ones who are always at the gym. The healthiest people are the ones who work exercise into their daily lifestyle.
That means they make choices like parking at the back of the parking lot and walking further. Or they make biking their main form of transportation.
In A Bike Accident? The Law Is There to Protect You
Biking has its risks, but its benefits far outweigh them. Biking gives us all a cleaner, greener planet. And it helps you fight off some of the most likely causes of death you’ll encounter.
Still, that doesn’t make biking 100% safe. If you’re injured in a bike accident, there are laws to protect you and help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Injured in a bike accident? We can help! Contact us now at 561-655-1130