Bicycling is an efficient and environmentally friendly way to get around. More and more Americans are choosing to cycle to work or to meet with friends. Cycling is an excellent way to get a daily dose of exercise in an otherwise busy life.

However, bicycling can be dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 850 cyclists died from vehicle impacts in 2018. Both drivers and riders can help prevent more accidents from occurring by keeping these significant causes of bicycle accidents in mind.

Distracted driving/riding

Laws restrict drivers from using their mobile devices while driving. However, it is not only auto drivers who do so. Cyclists, too, are increasingly distracted, looking down at their devices and not watching the cars around them.

Behaviors in traffic

Bicycles have the right to use the roadway. But with those rights come the responsibilities of sharing the road. Riders must adhere to the same traffic laws as cars, including stopping at traffic lights and obeying stop and yield signs.

Riding too closely

Though bike lanes provide riders with some protection from cars, it is still vital for cyclists to stay as far away from the driving lane as possible. Getting sideswiped or clipped with a side mirror can have devastating consequences.

Speeding

Cars traveling at excessive speeds are particularly dangerous for cyclists. According to the World Health Organization, a cyclist has only a 50% chance of survival when struck by a car traveling just under 30 miles per hour. However, they have a 30% chance if the speed is under 20 mph.