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Bicycle safety is more important now than ever

One of the most at-risk groups out on the road is bicyclists. The reason is fairly obvious: people on bicycles have fewer safety options than other vehicles and their counterparts out on the road have far more power when an accident occurs. As a result, when a bicyclist collides with a car, or vice versa, it is highly probable that the bicyclist will suffer serious, or even fatal, injuries.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration bears this out, and the numbers are a little frightening when you consider that everyone expects safety to improve over time, not get worse. The data from the NHTSA shows that from 2006 to 2015, there was an increase in bicyclist fatalities and injuries, with a prominent spike from 2014 to 2015.

In 2006, 772 bicyclists died and about 44,000 suffered injuries. But in 2015, those numbers jumped to 818 and about 45,000 respectively. That means bicyclist fatalities increased by 6 percent over that time frame, and bicyclist injuries increased by 2.3 percent. And about that jump from 2014 to 2015: there was a 14 percent increase in bicyclist deaths year-over-year.

These figures represent that stark reality that we all live in: bicyclists are in a difficult place out on the road, and it is up to everyone to make sure they are cognizant of bicyclists. If we don't take steps to improve road safety for bicyclists, then more will needlessly suffer.

Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Info Center, "Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics," Accessed July 31, 2017

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