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Wired: Mr. Know-It-All: Bike Safety…

Thinking about cycling to work? At least in the US, they have statistics to fall back on to make some life changing decisions. Where can we get some statistics on cycling safety in Malaysia?

 

My daughter just got a job in a big city, and she’s thinking about commuting by bicycle. Am I right to fear for her safety?

Even the staunchest proponents of two-wheeled transport can’t deny that bicyclists endure more injuries than their fuel-guzzling counterparts. A recent one-year study of nearly 1,000 regular bike commuters in Portland, Oregon, for instance, found that 18 percent suffered at least one injury, and about 30 percent of those wounded required medical attention. But that’s no reason to repossess your daughter’s Schwinn. Her odds of perishing in a crash may be higher than if she were driving, but they’re still pretty low: According to a 2006 study by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there were just 0.07 fatalities per every million miles traveled by the state’s bicyclists, versus 0.02 fatalities for every million miles logged by cars. Also, the fitness-boosting benefits of cycling may outweigh the risks: A 2010 Dutch study concluded that people who switch from driving to cycling for short trips actually increase their average life expectancy by up to 14 months.

Instead of breaking into a cold sweat every time you imagine your daughter pedaling to work, assuage your anxiety by buying her some solid headgear: The Portland researchers found helmets reduced serious injuries by 70 percent. And encourage her to wear reflective clothing and to avoid roads in poor condition — ordinary potholes are the cause of many a cycling injury.

Still freaked? At least be thankful that your girl wants to rely on human power; the fatality rate for motorcyclists is roughly 35 times higher than for car drivers.

From Wired magazine

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Categories: Bicycle | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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