Resources: Cycling and safety
How safe is bicycling? The short answer is: it depends. We offer these safety pages, not because cycling is especially dangerous, but because crashes do happen. Fortunately, most crashes can be avoided.
Crashes are caused by a wide range of factors. In these pages, we focus on those factorssuch as cycling technique and bike maintenancethat you can directly control. For other factors, such as road conditions, motorist behavior, and the quality of bike facilities, we encourage you to get involved with your local bike advocacy organization.
Overview of bike crashes
Most bicycle crashes do not involve a motor vehicle. They are bicycle-only crashes in which the cyclist fell down or ran into a stationary object. These crashes can often be prevented through proper lane position, good lighting at night, and by being alert to common hazards.
Crashes involving motor vehicles, though less common, tend to result in a higher severity of injury. Head injuries are the most serious type of injury and the most common cause of bicycle fatalities. Nearly one-third of bicycle fatalities involved a driver or a cyclist who had been drinking. While biking under the influence is still legal in some places, there is no question that oneâs ability to ride safely is greatly impaired.
Most bike crashes involving children are due to cyclist error. Because children don't yet have road skills, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children under ten ride on the sidewalk. Even then, it's necessary to practice safety skills, especially around driveways and intersections.
Keys to safe cycling