We’ve heard of the many health benefits that cycling brings us. It is a healthy hobby that helps keep the body physically fit and wicks away any diseases caused by stagnant lifestyle. After all, it has been proven by scientific studies that cycling and being athletic is far healthier than being a couch potato and eating junk foods and watching TV. Another known positive impact of cycling is that it helps in our environment, by not producing any harmful ozone gas that may contribute to climate change.
But of course, there were bound to be downsides and disadvantages surrounding this generally positive hobby as well. A hobby that involves riding an engine-less often in racing marathons but more frequently, on the highways, cruising with the fourteen-wheel trucks and large monster cars. What could possibly go wrong?
Cycling is dangerous for you, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And here are the reasons why.
Accidents involving cyclists are more common than motorbike related ones
In fact, accident rates, per kilometer involves cyclists 26 to 48 times more than motorbike riders, according to Share the Road Canada.
Another fact to support this is that almost 44,000 cyclists have died since 1932 (the first year it was recorded for cyclists to be involved to such road accidents).
And to add another set of data, amongst these cycling accidents, almost three-quarters (75%) are fatal and have led to deaths of the cyclists while the remaining one-fourths suffer from injuries that they are bound to for like limb amputation or so.
And more often than not, the ones often severely injured are the cyclists riding their bicycle. And there is an obvious reason for this one. Because bicycles are relatively smaller and thinner and less sturdy than other automobiles (such as motorbikes or cars), it is very likely that the bicycles will be the one taking the higher impact on the crash.
Not only this but bicycles do not have enough safety equipment like cars do (seatbelt and air bag for example) therefore, it is easier for a bicycle rider to get thrown away from the impact than those riding the cars.
Road accidents are very common
The road is very dangerous in itself alone. This, however, depends on where you live and the road you ride on. If you are living in a bustling metropolis such as Singapore or Seoul, where the roads are guarded by trucks and huge automobiles, especially in traffic-driven roads like Manila’s, the chances of you getting involved in a road accident are very high. And you do not wish to bet on those stakes.
While less busy and more laid back roads where not much people ride on are generally safer, it only lessens your chances of getting involved in these road accidents.
In fact, 75% of fatal cyclist-related accidents occur in urban areas. While about half of these fatalities happen in urban areas. These data are extremely high, only proving that wherever you are, whatever road you may be cruising in, you are still not safe. Another 75% of these fatalities include severe head injuries. While 80% of these are of male cyclists riding their bicycles.
The purpose of telling you these facts is to not scare you, but instead, use data and records to prove that these accidents do really happen and they are not fabricated information.
These accidents are of human error
Most of these road accidents may be caused by the bicycle rider or the driver of the other party.
Children cycling Accidents involving children are often because of the child riding too fast, being reckless or doing tricks while riding. While teenagers or adults involved cycling accidents are caused of the bicycle rider losing control of his bike, which is a reason we could never predict would happen.
While some are about collisions of two cars, often involving the bicycle rider being thrown away somehow due to the impact.
Most of these reasons are unavoidable and they come like earthquakes, we could never really know when they would happen.
Drivers nowadays are reckless and unforgiving
You see those rich kids riding and flaunting their wheels. You also see those angry truck drivers who got enough of the traffic.
And most of the time, these drivers are just unforgiving. And although the government has not failed to remind them to give cyclists space on the road, and to share the road with other riders, they just do not.
And these drivers are often angered by the unmoving traffic, making them even more unforgiving and acting selfishly towards the road.
Not only are they unforgiving and reckless, they are lawbreakers, too. Road laws are made for a reason, they are for the safety of everyone in the road. Or simply put, safety precautions. This is supported by the fact that most cycling accidents are also caused by drivers driving too fast, not stopping when they should or crossing lanes.