Cycling has become increasingly popular with Americans who are searching for environmentally-friendly alternatives for transportation. In addition to reducing vehicle emissions and congestion on roadways, cycling has many health benefits.
As more cyclists take to the streets, they should understand some important statistics regarding their own and others’ safety.
Alcohol and cyclist fatalities
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 25% of fatal bike accidents in 2019 involved a cyclist who had alcohol in his or her system. Like with driving, it is illegal to cycle while under the influence of alcohol.
Helmets and head injuries
Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found that wearing a helmet reduced the risk of heady injury by 50%. Though this statistic is not surprising, many cyclists still choose to ride without protection for their heads. According to a study in Brain Injury, approximately 88% of cyclists who sustain a neck or head injury were not wearing a helmet when the injury occurred.
E-bikes and pedestrian collisions
Cyclists and pedestrians face similar threats from cars and other vehicles on the road, but both often overlook the risks they present to each other. As e-bikes have grown popular with commuters, bike collisions with pedestrians have also increased. A recent study in the journal Injury Prevention asserts that e-bike collisions are about three times more likely to involve a pedestrian than traditional bikes.
Though there are dangers associated with cycling, cyclists can protect themselves by following traffic laws, wearing proper safety gear and staying aware of their surroundings.