101 reasons to love cycling #14 - making it safer yourself

Whilst cycling is no more dangerous than walking down the street, there is a perception that it is a dangerous activity.  Well, one of the joys of cycling is that the more people who do it, the safer it becomes - the much discussed 'safety in numbers' concept.  Contrary to what certain taxi drivers seem to think, if London was flooded with cyclists tomorrow, there wouldn't be an increase in cyclists being hit by cars but actually a decrease.

"It's a virtuous cycle," says Dr Julie Hatfield, an injury expert from the University of New South Wales, Australia  "The likelihood that an individual cyclist will be struck by a motorist falls with increasing rate of bicycling in a community. And the safer cycling is perceived to be, the more people are prepared to cycle."

So not only are you doing so much for yourself by hopping on your bike (getting fit, saving money) you're doing something for the wider community too - making cycling safer for all, and encouraging more to cycle, who therefore make it safer for you.

A self-fulfilling circular prophecy of cycle safety?  It's reason number 13 to love cycling in London!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another great reason--and one I hadn't thought about. That report you linked to is fascinating! And it tallies with my experience. The closer I stay to the heart of my city, where cycling is quite common, the safer I feel, but you couldn't PAY me to bike in the 'burbs. I hadn't thought about why I feel that way, but it has everything to do with being part of a "tribe," I suppose, in the city, and a "stranger in a strange land" in the suburbs.