How Safe is Riding a Bike?

If all you hear about is injuries, it's easy to assume that an activity is dangerous.

Many people, especially non-cyclists, believe that cycling is a dangerous activity.

How dangerous is riding a bike, really?

Cycling is among the safest activities you can take part in.

The charts on this page show where cycling compares to other common activites. As a cause of accidental death, cycling is safer than swimming or walking and much safer than driving a car.

If you really want to do something to increase your life expectancy, stop smoking and go ride your bike. You'll greatly decrease your chances of dying of cancer and heart disease.

Let's put things into perspective. Check out the following links:

Does this mean that you shouldn't worry about getting into a bike crash?

Inexperienced cyclists have the most crashes. Improving your traffic riding skills will make your cycling experience many times safer than the statistics shown in these charts.

Skilled cyclists know how to prevent themselves from getting into situations that cause crashes, learn techniques to avoid crashes in situations they can't prevent, and take appropriate measures to protect against injury in crashes they can't avoid.

To learn more and improve your skill, read books such as Effective Cycling or join a cycling club so you can ride with more experienced cyclists. The most effective way to become a better cyclist is to take a traffic skills course such as CAN-BIKE (in Canada) or Effective Cycling (in the USA).

Leading causes of death in Canada

According to Health Canada, cardiovascular disease and cancer account for two-thirds of deaths in Canada. Accident, poisoning and violence combined make up six percent of deaths.

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