Everyone takes risks as we go forth and interact with the world at large. But there are certain activities that put some at higher risk than others.
Cyclists and pedestrians are the most vulnerable of all road users. Pedestrians spend most of their time on the sidewalk separate from cars. Yet as a cyclist, you spend most of your time side by side with motorized vehicles.
How many cyclists die on the roads each year?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 2,395 cyclists killed on the country’s roads in 2018. By contrast, there were 16,879 pedestrians killed. That does not mean cycling is safer — far from it.
Many more people walk than ride bikes. Cycling is still a niche activity. Think of how many people you know that ride bicycles regularly. Now think of how many people you know that walk each day. Chances are you know more than eight pedestrians for every cyclist, which is the ratio of deaths between the two activities.
Where are the most dangerous places to cycle?
The ratio of urban cyclists to rural cyclists killed was seven to three. Not only are there far more people cycling in towns but there is also far more motorized traffic. Quiet country roads will always be safer than busy urban streets.
Safety advice often tells cyclists to take particular care at intersections. Interestingly, the NTHSA figures do not back this up. Only 36% of cyclists died at junctions, while 60% died away from them. The statistics did not specify the location of the remaining deaths. In rural settings, the number of death at intersections was almost four times less than those away from them. The split was closer in towns and cities.
Not everyone who is hit by a car while on their bicycle is killed. Many escape with injuries. If a driver injures you or a family member, you will need legal help to hold the driver responsible for their actions.