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Cycling: Statistics and the dangers of biking

As a bicyclist and pedestrian, you want to stay safe. You have your own bike lanes in some areas, know how to travel against traffic when you're not on the road and to travel with traffic when you are. As a cyclist, you're at risk of serious injuries if you're hit. You have little protection against a high-speed impact, and being thrown from your bicycle could lead to major injuries and road rash.

The 2013 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 4,735 pedestrians were killed in car accidents that took place that year. That's more than 12 people every day. For cyclists, the numbers are lower but still too high. in 2013, 743 people were killed while biking. While deaths are relatively low for bicyclists in comparison to other kinds of accident victim categories, the number of injuries is shocking. In 2013 alone, 48,000 people suffered injuries by being hit while riding a bicycle.

So, is biking actually more dangerous than other kinds of travel? Cyclists only make up around 2 percent of all traffic fatalities, but they are over-represented in crash data. Biking is healthy for the body and mind, though, and without knowing the total number of miles traveled, it can be hard to see if biking is more dangerous per 100,000 miles, like you can with driving cars or trucks.

Biking isn't necessarily getting safer, which is something to consider. Unless your area has taken steps to improve biking safety, like by adding bike lanes or using biking education courses, then it's possible it's still as dangerous as previous years. So, if you're hit, you still may want to reach out for help with your case against the driver responsible.

Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, "Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics," accessed Dec. 17, 2015

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