HELMETS ARE WORTH REMEMBERING
If you remember one statistic, remember this one: Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of serious brain injury by up to 88 percent! Remember this when you’re just going to a nearby school or café and don’t think a helmet will make a difference. Your brain is your body’s control board and it’s worth protecting whether you’re riding a long or short distance.
BICYCLE VS. CAR
Cyclists statistically trump motorists in terms of health and safety. At WearYourHelmet.org, we believe it is possible to drastically reduce the number of injuries and deaths per year. Here are the raw statistics — they are already impressive and we look forward to making them even more so:
Cyclists only account for 2 percent of all road deaths & injuries. According to the Traffic Safety Facts 2008: Pedalcyclists from the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 716 cyclists killed in 2008, accounting for 2% of all traffic fatalities, and the 52,000 cyclists who were injured made up 2% of all traffic injuries.
Deaths from cars. Automobile emissions kill 30,000 people and collisions kill 46,000 each year in the U.S. Of these, 25,136 were a result of road departure, 9,213 were intersection-related, and 4,749 were pedestrians. (FHWA)
Auto crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the age of 6-27: males ages 6-23 and 26, and females ages 4-6 and 8-28. By introducing youths to cycling as an alternative to driving (even occasionally), we can prevent tragic auto accidents that are all too common today.
CYCLING ADDS YEARS TO YOUR LIFE
The gain of “life years” through improved fitness among regular cyclists, and thus their increased longevity exceeds the loss of “life years” in cycling fatalities (British Medical Association, 1992). An analysis based on the life expectancy of each cyclist killed in road accidents using actuarial data, and the increased longevity of those engaging in exercise regimes several times a week compared with those leading relatively sedentary lives, has shown that, even in the current cycle hostile environment, the benefits in terms of life years gained outweigh cycling fatalities by a factor of around 20 to 1. -- Mayer Hillman, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Policy Studies Institute, and British Medical Association researcher.
STATISTICS FOR THE TAXPAYER
From 1999 to 2002, the average annual cost of bicycle fatalities of children and youth ages 0 to 19 was $1.03 billion. Nonfatal injures cost $3.6 billion. Not only can safety education save cyclists from danger, it could more than halve the burden on taxpayers. Combined, $4.63 billion is a lot of money to potentially save or redirect to a number of worthy programs.
The simple act of wearing a helmet is starting to sound good, isn’t it?