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Understanding bike accident risk

Late last month, we began a discussion about bicycle safety. We noted that in a recent study published by the Governors Highway Safety Association, adult males were identified as the most at-risk population for suffering fatal bicycle accidents. And yet, it is vitally important to remember that other populations remain at risk for suffering a fatal bicycle accident as well.

Many of the same factors that make motorists more prone to being involved in an accident affect bike riders as well. For example, drunk cycling is arguably just as dangerous as drunk driving, at least when it comes to personal safety. In addition, distracted cycling and drowsy cycling can increase the risk that riders will be involved in an accident before they reach their destinations.

In addition, many of the risk factors that make pedestrians more likely to be involved in an accident also affect bike riders. For example, young children are among the most likely individuals be involved in back-over accidents because it is difficult to see them when one is backing a large vehicle up. Just as young children are difficult to spot on foot, they are also difficult to see when they are riding bikes.

Essentially, the risk factors that make motorists and pedestrians more likely to be involved in injurious and fatal accidents both apply to cyclists. As a result, it is vitally important that cyclists focus on safe riding, make sound decisions while riding and embrace the most vibrant and protective riding gear on the market.

Source: GHSA.org, "Bicyclist Fatalities a Growing Problem for Key Groups," Oct. 27, 2014

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