Whether you use your bike to commute to work, achieve your fitness goals or make a living, it is an integral part of your life. Due to the frequency with which you bike, it is essential for you to know about bicycle safety statistics.

When you are aware of the inherent risks of bicycling, you can take steps to be a safer cyclist. Here are some key numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Safety Council and 2012 National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors.

Bicyclist injury and fatality facts

  • Fatalities in 2015: 818
  • Fatalities in 2006: 772
  • Increase in deaths from 2006 to 2015: 6 percent
  • Injuries in 2015: 45,000
  • Injuries in 2006: 44,000
  • Increase in injuries from 2006 to 2015: 2.3 percent
  • Annual cost of injuries and fatalities: $4 billion

Top causes of bicyclist injuries

  • Hit by motor vehicle: 29 percent
  • Falling off: 17 percent
  • Walkway and roadway defects: 13 percent
  • Rider error: 13 percent
  • Collision/crashes: 7 percent

Bicyclist crash risk factors

  • 88 percent of deaths are among males
  • 20 percent of deaths happen between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • 71 percent of deaths happen in urban cities
  • 19 percent of bicyclists who die have blood alcohol concentration levels of at least 0.08
  • Florida leads the country in fatalities with 139, followed by California with 128 and Texas with 50

How you can be safer

Now that you know this information, you can use it to be a safer cyclist. For example, you can limit your evening and city riding. If you must ride at night, be sure to wear reflective clothing and equip your bike with a light and reflectors. Due to the fact that most bicycle injuries happen because of motor vehicle accidents, you must be alert and wary of every driver. Assume that drivers are not paying attention and do not see you. 

There are certainly risks associated with cycling due to the fact that there are around 800 fatalities every year. Remember these facts and use them to be a more mindful rider.