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Bicycle Safety

Bicycle Safety Overview

Bicycling is a common means of transportation as well as an increasingly popular source of recreation, exercise, and sport. Nearly 45 million Americans rode a bicycle six times or more in 2008, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

  • Along with increased use of bicycles comes the risk of significant injuries. Bicycle outings result in more than 500,000 visits each year to Emergency Departments, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Injuries attributable to bicycling range from common abrasions, cuts, and bruises to broken bones, internal injuries, head trauma, and even death.

  • Almost 700 bicyclists died in 2007, and 43,000 were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From a statistical standpoint, bicycle riding has a higher death rate per trip or per mile of travel than being a passenger in an automobile.

  • The most common cause of bicycle crashes is due to falls or collisions with stationary objects. Collisions involving motor vehicles account for 90% of all bicycle-related deaths and 10% of nonfatal injuries. The majority of these bicycle deaths are caused by head injuries.

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