As a bicycle accident lawyer, I know all too well the risks of riding a bike! In fact you don’t have to be a bicycle injury lawyer to know the risks, just take a ride. You will experience it all around you. There are cars/trucks that will buzz right by you, cars that will pull out in front of you or even turn in front of you. Of course, you also have road conditions, weather, etc. to worry about. Yet, I love to ride my bike and do so most days of the week. If you are reading this, you probably love to ride as well and may, like myself, even be addicted to it!. In fact I feel much better and healthier when I do. So, does the many benefits cycling provide, justified all the risks? This is the questions I seek to explore here. First of all, I would like to link to a great article, that does not draw conclusions, but shows how difficult it is to assess.
There is a recent study from AMA (American Medical Association) that suggests bicycle riding from 1998 to 2013 has become more dangerous. This means that the rate of injuries per 100,000 has increased 28%. In fact the rate of injuries has increased 60% during the same time period. If in fact these are accurate numbers, this is a very alarming statistic. Especially since the long held belief has always been that as the number of riders increase, biking becomes safer, not more dangerous. After some good “old fashioned” google research, I have determined that in fact riding a bike is VERY safe and the benefits do justify the risks. I relied heavily on this article, that really breaks it down using math beyond my pay scale :). I will quote the ultimate conclusion here:
Under even the most pessimistic of assumptions:
- Net effect of driving a car at 65mph for one hour: Dying 20 minutes sooner. (18 seconds of life lost per mile)
- Net effect of riding a bike at 12mph for one hour: Living 2 hours and 36 minutes longer(about 13 minutes of life gained per mile)
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The article does a great job of convincing me (and hopefully you), that riding is not only safe, it actually extends your life. Which is what I always felt, but it is nice to have the data to use the next time someone tells you “isn’t riding dangerous”. In any case, as always the biggest part of being safe on the bike is the engine (you). Accordingly, never forget to use lights, reflective clothing and a helmet. Expect every vehicle to not notice use and never trust eye contact. If unsure ride behind a vehicle, not in front when crossing paths.
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
Bicycle Injury Lawyer – Enthusiast
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