Adults Continue To Be the Highest Percentage of Bicycle Fatalities and Injuries

Washington, March 25, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — With spring already here and the continued popularity of bicycling for millions of adults in the U.S., more bicycles will be on the nation’s roads and pathways.

While many acknowledge the need to teach children about bicycle safety, many adults who bicycle could use a safety check as well. The fact is more adults are killed or injured in motor vehicle related bicycle crashes than kids, and this number has been on the increase. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average person killed in a traffic related bicycle crash has continuously been of adult age and this trend of older bicyclists being injured while riding their bicycle is expected to continue.

Today’s adults ride bicycles for transportation, exercise, to reduce their carbon footprint, to save money, and for the sheer enjoyment they experience while bicycling. Unfortunately, many adults fail to wear a helmet, use other safety equipment, or to observe the rules of the road. These actions increase their risk of being seriously injured if a crash occurs while riding their bicycle.

While the benefits of bicycling often outweigh the risks, bicyclists need to be more aware of actions they can take to increase their safety while riding. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and its partners offer the following tips.

Riders of all ages should:

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet every time they ride.
  • Check their bicycle for safety use the ABC Quick Check
    • Air – check air pressure in tires
    • Brakes – check brakes to make sure they work
    • Chain – check to see if tight and oiled
  • Learn and follow the rules of the road; among the most important is always ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Be seen by other road users.. Wear bright clothing during the day and wear reflective materials on your body or equipment at night. States require the use of a white front light and a red rear reflector or light.
  • Stay alert.
  • Be a role model for other riders especially children.

To learn more about bicycle safety, visit the NHTSA website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov. Other helpful websites include www.bikeleague.org and http://www.bicyclinginfo.org.