The Low Road


“Hey, take my dirty hakama!”

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Part III: Cycle Safety Facts

Although urban cyclists almost seem to enjoy complaining about potholes and car doors, their concerns are rooted in some sobering facts:

• 57 million Americans rode a bicycle in the last year, according to a 2002 report prepared by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
• nearly 500,000 people commute to work by bicycle, according to a 2000 U.S. Census estimate.
• 784 bicyclists were killed in accidents in 2005, up 26 percent from two years earlier, according to a U.S. DOT report released last year.
• 86 percent of those fatalities involved cyclists who weren’t wearing helmets.
• 720 cyclists died in accidents involving motor vehicles.
• 45,000 cyclists were injured in 2005, up 9.8 percent from the previous year.
• 66 percent of the bicycle fatalities occurred in urban areas, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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