It’s Not All Bad News: Here Are 7 Positive Bicycle Accident Statistics
When you peruse a paper or the net, stats about bike accidents can seem all doom and gloom. Unfortunately, tragedy sells. But not all bicycle accidents end tragically. Here is some surprisingly good news about biking incidents.
- Most Bicycle Accident Injuries Are Minor
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common bicycle accident injuries are superficial, and they generally involve only the upper and lower extremities. Of the 580,000 reported ER visits in 2014 related to bike events, most were for acute trauma to the extremities, including “road rash.” Traumatic head injuries only make up a small number (15%) of ER visits.
- Wearing a Helmet Offers Serious Protection in Accidents
Health outcomes are significantly better in bicyclists who always wear their helmets. According to the National Institute for Health, wearing a helmet is about 40% more effective in preventing debilitating head trauma than going without head protection.
- Bicycle Helmet Laws Protect Citizens
Just as public health officials prevent injury with their “Click it or Ticket” seat belt laws, bike helmet laws actually do work to protect bikers. According to studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicycle laws demonstrably have been quite effective at reducing the number and severity of bike crash related injuries, particularly among children.
- Reflective Clothing Use Protects Riders
Don’t leave the house without your protective gear. Studies indicate retro-reflective clothing and lighting on your bicycle make you more visible to drivers at night, leading to fewer driver/bicycle accidents.
- Roadway Engineering Initiatives Are Underway All Over the Country
State governments and local municipalities are investing serious money in infrastructure to make the roads safer for bicyclists. From developing bike lanes to creating separate pathways in parks, communities across the Bay Area and beyond are coming together to protect bikers and make riding easier and more enjoyable. According to data from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, constructing 1 mile of roadway through Golden Gate Park costs nearly 1,500 times more than creating 1 mile of protected bike lane.
- Bicycle Accidents Make Up a Small Proportion of Road Fatalities
According to data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, only about 2% of road deaths involve bicyclists.
- Don’t Bicycle Under the Influence
Of those 2% killed, nearly a quarter had a BAC level over the legal limit of .08. For your safety, ride responsibly. If you already do so, appreciate that your sober riding, statistically speaking, protects you from the worst types of crashes.
In the event that you or a family member does get seriously hurt in a bike crash, our seasoned Bay Area bicycle law firm has the skills and resources to protect your rights and advocate for fair compensation.