Biking is an enjoyable hobby for people of all ages. Whether you're tooling around the neighborhood or participating in road races, cycling is a great way to get fresh air and exercise.
Unfortunately, cycling can be dangerous. And it is important for us to bring awareness to the potential dangers of cycling to help all riders become highly alert of their surroundings when riding on the road. In 2020, nearly 700 cyclists were killed in crashes involving vehicles. Of those, a quarter were hit-and-runs, which means the driver fled the scene before police arrived.
The data doesn't include the total number of cyclist deaths. Federal statistics won't be available for another two years so the 2020 Cycling Deaths data depends on deaths reported in the news media.
That means additional deaths very likely occurred in 2020 but aren't included in the report, authors say. There's a good possibility that the total number will top 2018's number of deaths, which was the highest since 1990.
"I wasn't surprised by this data," said Tiffanie Stanfield, was quoted as saying in Streets Blog USA. Stanfield is the founder of the non-profit Fighting Hit and Run Driving. "The pandemic provided drivers with a license to speed, and heightened the population of cyclists and pedestrians on the road. That balance is still off — but we haven't done things like increase the enforcement to address the change."
In a perfect world, cyclists would be safe while riding on the country's roadways. But evidence proves the contrary. Cyclists must take steps to protect themselves on the road. Here are some things you should do.
If you haven't been wearing a helmet while riding, start immediately. It's the best way to keep yourself safe, even if you're just riding around the block.
Install lights on your bike to increase visibility. A white light on the front and a red light on the rear will help drivers determine in which direction you're traveling.
Light-colored clothing will help you to be seen no matter the time of day. You can even buy specially made performance clothing with built-in reflective panels.
Riding in a group is generally safer than going solo. It's easier for drivers to see a larger group of riders and are more likely to give riders a wider berth.
Bike lanes are common-sense solutions that will provide a safe place for cyclists to ride. Reach out to your local elected officials and encourage them to create dedicated bike lanes on your local roadways. If you need help in this regard, check out www.peopleforbikes.org.
Follow these tips, so you can remain safe while having fun on two wheels!
The government requires drivers to keep license plates on their vehicles to protect public and private safety. Commuters are opting to ride bicycles over driving cars for any number of positive lifestyle benefits, but cyclists trade off the safety afforded to drivers.
License plates are not required by law for bicycles in most areas, but there are various benefits to implementing this measure to protect cyclists in reckless riding behavior. Several American states have attempted bicycle license plate systems on a provisional basis, as documented.
Whether you are a leisurely bike rider or consider more of a passion, all riders should be in the habit of regularly cleaning their bike. Simply put, a clean bike looks betters, operates better, and will last longer.
Even if you are using your bike just to cruise to the beach or around town, Bicycling.com recommends, "Cleaning your road bike monthly (or every 20 to 25 rides) and a mountain or 'cross bike more often". So, while it may be easier just to put your bike back in the garage after a few rides, making an effort to wash your bike monthly (even if it doesn't look dirty) can really help extend the life of your bike and help with day to day operation of the bike!