Statistics

There are some scary statistics about cycling. Injuries and fatalities are higher than they need to be, but we can combat these. We can all ride safely and keep accidents from happening. It's going to take all of us.

Statistics

Even one injury is one too many. Here are some startling statistics about cycling injuries.

“Bicyclists account for 1 percent of trips but 2 percent of deaths on the US roadways.”

Why? Usually negligence and lack of attention of motor vehicle operators to look for cyclists. Even though Texas law requires motor vehicle to share roadways with cyclists, it isn’t enough. The percentage of cyclists injured by motorists has been increasing in the past 10 years. The road is a two-way street (pun intended). Motorists need to do their part to keep distractions at bay and respect cyclists on the road.

“80% of Cycling Accidents occur in daylight.”
Source - rospa.com

Most cycling accidents do not happen during the night hours. It’s during the day while there is plenty of adequate lighting.

“Each year, more than 500,000 people in the US are treated in emergency departments, and more than 700 people die as a result of bicycle-related injuries.”
Source - cdc.gov

These numbers are far too high. Riders could be to blame for not increasing their ability to be seen. Motor Vehicle operators could be to blame for not accepting cyclists on the road. Education is key. Cyclists need to know how to best be seen and to practice safe riding habits. Motor Vehicle operators need to know to look for cyclists and how to approach a situation involving us on the road.

The average American househould spends over $8,000 per year on owning and driving their cars, more than they spend on food.
Source - Bikes Belong

If it was possible to eliminate vehicle cost completely, that would be 8 grand in your pocket. Though this is very difficult, you can still save a ton of money by cycling often. Save the car for when you really need it. If you don't have far to travel, take the bike to run errands or visit others. Instead of cruising town in the car with friends, get on your bikes and get some exercise. It's easier to ride longer distances with a buddy anyway.

Solutions

These are by no means the only things you can do to minimize biking accidents, but they serve for a good foundation for solving some of the main risks associated with cycling.

Wear Vivid Colors

Bright Red, Orange, Yellow, Neon or Florescent colors. Wearing these colors make you stand out from everything else on the roadway. Remember how much smaller you are in size compared to a car. Color can be the deciding factor in making you stand out. It increases your likelihood of being seen by a large margin.

Use Hand Signals

They make you much easier to be seen. Signal when you turn, signal when you slow down, signal when you stop, heck you can even wave at people. Any extra movement you make can attract attention to you and let others know you are on the road.

Use Reflectors

Mount them on your bike, put reflective tape on your riding attire, attach some to any packs you may be carrying supplies in, put them everywhere. Reflectors work well even during the daytime. During the dawn/dusk hours can be the hardest time to spot cyclists on the road, but if you have plenty of reflectors that just might alert someone to your presence on the road.

Look For Cars

You know they are on the road but unfortunately they are not always looking for you. Some may not even be aware that it is legal to ride a bike on the road. This is not restricted to suburban roads either. Most roads you can drive a car it is legal to ride a bike as well, Interstates are an exception. It is perfectly legal to ride on the access roads though.