Biking safe despite news of accidents
Thursday, August 29, 2013 5:41 AM
As of August 8, eight bicyclists died in crashes with motor vehicles in Wisconsin this year. At the same time a year ago, there had been six fatalities.
According to Dave Schlabowske, interim executive director of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, the number of bicyclists killed annually in the state has remained steady since 1990 while the number of injuries have dropped 43 percent.
“Fatal bike crashes are really rare in Wisconsin,” Schlabowske blogged at www.wisconsinbikefed.org. “More than two million people ride bikes in Wisconsin, riding hundreds of thousands of miles every year.... Certainly, even one innocent person killed is cause for concern, but since the number of people riding has gone up over the years and the number of fatal crashes has gone down, the fatal crash rate has actually decreased.”
Nevertheless, the Bike Fed aims to make roadways even safer for bicyclists by looking “where crashes happen and try(ing) to implement countermeasures to reduce the chance of future crashes.”
He wrote that it is not the intention of the Bike Fed to scare people from riding bikes.
“We want the take away from our reports to inspire you to ride legally, be aware of where crashes happen and advocate for better education and better bicycle facilities in your communities,” he wrote. “Many statistics show riding a bicycle to be safer than walking down stairs, taking a shower and driving a car. When you factor in the health benefits and the reduced risk of obesogenic illnesses, your risk of dying goes down with every revolution you pedal.”