Some companies are now paying their workers to bike to work. This is a true win/win. Initial study shows the employer gains an employee who is more focused at work and takes off less sick days. The employer has been able to reduce insurance premiums and have a lower absentee rate due to sick days. The employee saves money on reduced auto costs, feels better (physically and mentally) and gets extra pay!!
This is a trend that companies and local municipalities should really get behind. As you take cars off the road, you have less wear and tear on the streets and less congestion, all money saving side affects for the local government. As I have stated in many of my blog postings, the best way to get more people on their bikes is to make it a more attractive option than using the car.
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In the Netherlands, most of the time if is actually faster by bike than car. In the US we have a long way to go before most people will feel safe on a bike. As a bicycle accident injury lawyer, I see on a daily basis how unsafe riding can be in the US. in fact many clients we represent would have never been injured, had their been a safer place for them to ride. Accordingly, it is hard to emphasize how important it is to have a separated bike path/lane that is physically protected from motor vehicles.
One statistic that I believe illustrates the safety difference between the US and the Netherlands is this; In the Netherlands, 23% of all trips by bike are by riders over the age of 65. In the US it is less than 1%. Until you see a much higher percentage of woman and people over 65 on bikes, you will not be able to change the culture in the US. In order to get woman and the older population on a bicycle, the real and perceived danger must be substantially reduced. Though, I do want to make something clear. Even with the additional danger of riding in the US, it is still much better for your health to ride and assume those risks, than not ride at all!
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
Bicycle Injury Lawyer/ Enthusiast