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What are we thinking?

Would you ride your bike?

The most common barrier to cycling? "Isn't it dangerous?"  And why not?  When this is the sort of information offered up by those who should know better (Clicking on the charts and tables will "pop-up" a larger image):

Bicycle safety info-graphic

Let's look at this a bit more closely:  To start with, the grusome fact that 500,000 people (we infer 40,000 of whom are children) are admitted to emergency rooms every year due to bicycle accidents looks pretty bad.  Worse, over 700 people are killed due to cycling related injuries.  But what does this actually represent?  

Actually, this number is 1/5th the number of emergency room admissions and 1/48th the number of fatalities (2,500,000 and 33,561) caused by automobiles.  And, it just gets better.  A well documented chart published in the June 2013 issue of Sunset magazine is pretty eye-opening:

Accident rates among 9 activities including cycling:

Not only is biking safer than driving (1/28th as dangerous), it is safer than working (1/11th as dangerous), walking (1/5th as dangerous) or swimming!  These numbers are compelling and should be comforting.  While our safety fears concerning cycling are not groundless, by taking simple percautions (riding with a helment is 1/5th as dangerous as riding without) we can enjoy a wonderful, healthy and safe family sport without excessive fear.  

We thought you would like to know.