Cycling: Safer than you think

Riding with traffic in Palo Alto, California

Alan Durning posts his explorations on the safety of cycling over at Grist. He was motivated to learn just how dangerous cycling is after his son was nearly hit by a car. He makes some good points in his article: Biking is safer than it used to be, cycling is safer than you might believe, the health benefits of daily biking far outweigh the risks, cycling is not as safe as it should be, encouraging cycling in public policy is a great way to to ensure healthy and lasting prosperity.

Alan points to some of the resources I’ve counted on for years, including Ken Kifer’s Traffic Safety information. Sadly, Ken died a few years ago after he was hit by a drunk driver, but the information on his pages still holds true. Bicycle Safety provides a pictorial guide to how bicyclists are often hit, and how to avoid those kinds of collisions.

I highly recommend one of the bicycling education courses taught by League of American Bicyclists certified instructors. The Canadian equivalent is CAN-BIKE, while similar courses are available in the UK. These classes cover the material mentioned in Alan’s article and also discuss how to ride safely and predictably to avoid those risks.

Read the article on cycling safety in Grist. Cycling is safer than you think, and many of the risks in cycling are controllable by the cyclist.

Photo: Me riding with traffic in bicycle friendly Palo Alto, California.

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