There are plenty of personal benefits to cycling, such as promoting a healthy lifestyle and cutting down on gas bills. But have you ever thought of just how much good cycling can do for the population at large?

One benefit is that it reduces the congestion on California’s notoriously busy roads. Every cyclist takes another car off of the road, freeing up space and opening up lanes for other traffic. Even if the cyclists end up using the same roads — and they often don’t, sticking to smaller roads while cars head for the interstate — they take up less space and allow traffic to move smoothly.

This is important for many reasons, going beyond simply decreasing commute times and allowing other drivers to face fewer traffic jams. In fact, it’s been shown that traffic congestion tends to increase the number of accidents that happen on a roadway. While many of these accidents are less severe as the speeds are reduced, they can still lead to serious injuries.

What this means is that cycling as a means of commuting is actually helping prevent car accidents, potentially saving lives and keeping people out of the hospital. If more people rode their bikes, rather than driving every day, would we see a massive reduction in dangerous incidents on the road?

Of course, those who do decide to commute by bike also face risks if they get into accidents with those who still drive cars. When they suffer injuries in a bike crash, they need to know all of the legal options they have to seek compensation.