While cycling is a great way to get in shape and reduce your carbon footprint, using a bike as a form of transportation also comes with inherent risks. Research shows that while many communities are enhancing their bike lanes and otherwise taking steps to improve cyclist safety, the number of cyclists dying is increasing, regardless.
According to Vice, the number of cyclists losing their lives on the nation’s roads has risen 25% since 2010. The nation also saw a 10% spike in the number of cyclists dying between 2018 and 2019 alone, providing further evidence that communities’ efforts to make cycling safer may not be having the impact they want.
It is important to note that while cyclist fatalities are on the rise, road deaths, in general, are on the decline across the United States. Also, cyclist deaths are far more common in urban areas, even though these areas are more likely to have bike lanes and other infrastructure in place meant to prevent crashes involving cars and cyclists. In fact, about three-quarters of all cyclist fatalities occur in urban areas.
Why is it that cycling has become so risky in recent years? Many believe that distracted driving behaviors and driver inattentiveness, in general, are contributing to the rising number of cyclists losing their lives on the nation’s roads. Some city bike lanes also lack proper protection, making them more hazardous for cyclists.
Because you should never trust other motorists to exercise caution on the roadways, it is essential that you, as a cyclist, always wear a helmet and exercise extreme vigilance when traveling by bike.