The number of cyclists killed or involved in accidents each year continues to increase as the amount of cycling increasing. Cycling is becoming more appealing and many people seem to be taking it up. This is especially because it promotes a healthier lifestyle and is cheaper. However, statistics show that it is 17 times more likely for a cyclist to be killed on the road than a motorist is. In addition, being involved in a bike accident is 23 time more likely than being involved in a car accident. Majority of those killed are adults. Males are also more likely to be involved in cycling accidents. Furthermore, about 80% of these accidents occur during the day since that is when most people cycle. One of the major contributions for bike accidents is human error. Most of the accidents happen in urban areas and at non-intersection locations. There have been numerous calls for the introduction of high quality cycling space in major cities such as London. This is aimed at enabling people of all ages to ride safely in the big cities.
Apart from bike accidents, motorcyclists are 57 times more likely to be killed and 24 times more likely to be involved in accidents when compared with motorists. These statistics make motorcyclists the most vulnerable road users, accounting for up to 21% of all deaths in the UK. Over the past few years, the number of people involved in a bike accident continues to increase. One of the major for the rising number of these rates is that most accidents happened at junctions (45%) and those on the wheels did not look properly. Statistics tend to show that young adults aged 15-19years and adults aged 40 years and older have higher bike accident death rates. In addition, children between 5-14 years and young adults between 15-24 years have higher rates of non-fatal bike accidents.
While motorcyclists represent only 1% of traffic, they are involved in about 20% of road accidents. Most of the accidents follow a basic pattern. Either, there is a right of way violation, a loss of control at bends while at high speeds or overtaking accidents. Studies tend to show that other road users apart from the injured cyclists are usually the culprits. This is especially because motorcycles are less visible and less stable and have higher performance capabilities. Therefore, when it crashes, it lacks the protection offered by an enclosed vehicle and thus most of the times the accident is fatal. Most of these accidents leave motorcyclists with fatal head injuries. This is why it is recommended to always wear helmets since they provide 37% effectiveness when it comes to preventing brain injuries. Thus, safety measures should focus on targeting other road users and bike users as well. Laws should also be enacted making helmets mandatory for bikers.
Reduction of such accidents and fatalities will require effective interventions. It is important for all cyclists to respect safety procedures. This means all cyclists should wear protective gear such as helmets every time they go out to ride. Cyclists should also ensure they are visible to incoming traffic by wearing florescent clothing during the day or retro-reflective clothing at night. Active lighting in their bicycles will also enhance their visibility. It is also highly advisable to drive bicycles in designated lanes. If there are no protected bike lanes, then it is much safer to consider other means of transport. Statistics tend to show that protected bike lanes lead to a considerable decrease in injuries, with a 57% decrease in bike riders and a 29% reduction for those walking.
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