Stay Safe on Two Wheels—Stop Biking Like It's 1975!

Even though there are far more people in the U.S. today, there were significantly more bicyclist traffic fatalities in 1975. Part of the reason may be that bicycling has fallen in popularity, especially among youths—however, safety education also plays a large role.

Today, most people who ride bikes wear helmets, and use reflective gear and lights when riding after dark. Back in the '70s, people were a bit more lax about roadway safety. Cyclists who can't kick those old habits are at the greatest risk.

In 2015, only 91 youths under 20 years old were killed in cycling crashes, compared with 720 adults over 20. In fact, the average age was 45 years old.

Of cyclists killed, over 54 percent were not wearing a helmet, 22 percent had a Blood Alcohol Content over .08, and 47 percent were biking after dark.

Preventing bicycle traffic deaths requires effort from drivers—actively looking for bicycles, never texting while driving, and keeping a safe distance when passing. Improved infrastructure, like bike lanes, also plays a role. However, cyclists themselves must embrace modern safety practices if we hope to eliminate fatal traffic accidents—always wear a helmet, never bike drunk, and use specialized headlights and tail lights on your bicycle at night.

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