With more and more people switching to alternative mode of transportation, the issue of safety on the road becomes important to those looking for other ways to get around town besides automobile. Many turn to bicycling for not only transportation but also a way to stay in shape. However, when bicycling around town you need to take precautions in order to stay safe on the road. Proper safety equipment including properly working brakes, lighting for night riding, and especially wearing a bike helmet can ensure that you make it to your destination safely.
There are currently anywhere between 73 to 85 million bicyclist in the united states, and of these 698 of them are killed on US roads each year. Out of these 698, 90% are killed due to crashes with motor vehicles. Whereas many think sobriety, and night or tired driving/riding attributes to the majority of accidents, the truth is that most bicycle accidents are during the day, with sober riders, and most importantly not wearing a helmet. Looking past the fatalities involved in bicycle riding, almost 600,000 bicyclists each year are injured due to automobile or roadway accidents, of which around 67,000 report head injuries that must be hospitalized. Many of these who report hospitalized injuries were also not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Many think that they do not need a helmet or are not riding far enough or fast enough to cause need for a helmet, however those without a helmet are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those wearing helmets, and head injuries account for over 60 percent of the bicycle related deaths in the nation.
These accidents not only cause physical injury, they also cause economic injury. Direct costs from bicycle rider accidents that involve non helmet collisions, it is estimated to cost 81 million each year. Indirectly, the cost totals over 2.3 billion. When you compare this to the amount a helmet costs at local bike shops (anywhere from 10 to 20 dollars) the expense of riding with a helmet seems negligible.
Alternative forms of transportation help break this nation of oil dependency and save not only our precious natural recourses but also our environment. If you are making your way around town on a bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle, please remember to stay safe, take all the appropriate precautions, and always wear a helmet.