How Common Are Bicycle Accidents and How Can You Stay Safe When Cycling?

When we think of dangerous road accidents, we often imagine a vehicle collision. However, bicycle accidents are twice as likely to be fatal than car accidents. Besides careless drivers, “dooring” (when a passenger opens a car door and hits a cyclist) is another common hazard.

How Common Are Bicycle Accidents?

According to bicycle accident statistics, bicycle accidents account for 2% of motor vehicle injuries and fatalities. In the United States, 6.75 million car accidents occur yearly compared to 45,000 reported bicycle accidents, but these numbers aren’t consistent with cyclist injuries.

Approximately 130,000 cyclists are injured, and 1,000 cyclists die every year. Car accident rates are more widely documented, making their numbers more accurate. Approximately 3 million people are injured in car accidents, and 38,000 deaths occur from vehicle collisions yearly.

Although 12.38% of Americans cycle daily, 83% of US adults choose to drive every single day. 52.7 million people own a bike, and there are 284.5 million registered vehicles in the US.

Based on these findings, you’re more likely to be injured or killed in a bicycle accident.

How To Stay Safe While Cycling

Cyclists have to deal with a wide range of road hazards, but they’re more likely to be injured when a motorized vehicle is involved. Here’s how to always stay safe while riding your bike.

1. Understand Your Crash Hazards

As stated, cyclists are more likely to crash or get injured because they were hit by a car. But falls, cracked roadways, rider errors, collisions with fixed objects, and animals are other common causes of injury. By paying attention, you can maneuver around common obstacles.

2. Wear A Well-Fitted Helmet

You’re more likely to experience a fatal injury when you aren’t wearing a helmet. Even if you walk away from the accident, you could have a traumatic brain injury. However, a helmet can improve visibility, reduce the severity of head injuries, and offer decent weather protection.

3. Make Sure You’re Easy To See

Drivers may hit your bike because they didn’t notice you. While drivers should pay more attention, you shouldn’t rely on others to keep you safe. To reduce your accident risk, install headlights, reflectors, and tape on your bike. Wear colorful, reflective clothing at all times.

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    4. Know Your Bike Hand Signals

    Cyclists should know the correct hand signals for “left,” “right,” and “stop.” Unfortunately, most drivers are unfamiliar with these hand signals and may cut you off or not pay attention anyway. To be safe, install digital turn signals you can operate via your handlebars, wheels, or pedals.

    5. Pay More Attention In The Evening

    Riding your bike in the evening is more hazardous than at any other time in the day. You’re more likely to get in an accident between 4:00 PM and 7:59 PM, so avoid rush hour traffic if possible. If you have to cycle during this time, stick to parks, bicycle paths, or less populated roads.

    6. Check Equipment Before Riding

    An unexpected break malfunction can turn any casual ride into a fatal accident. Before you ride your bike, do a bike check, test your helmet, and adjust your gear. Make sure your tires are properly deflated. If something doesn’t look right (or isn’t working), walk your bike to the shop.

    7. Avoid Any Possible Distractions

    Distracted driving is the most common cause of accidents, even on a bicycle. Don’t hold any electronics or water bottles in your hand while you’re cycling. Only check your phone when you’re parked or safe. If you carry a lot of things, bring a comfortable backpack for the trip.

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    How Common Are Bicycle Accidents and How Can You Stay Safe When Cycling? — Bike Hacks