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Bicycling Is Safer Than Staying In That Car

You’ve been wanting to get on that bicycle and ride, but you’re afraid, and you have some reason to be. When a car collides with a bicycle, the car gets a scratch and the bicycle gets crushed. The recent death of Senate candidate Natasha Pettigrew, killed by an SUV whose driver didn’t even notice the collision, was a startling reminder of that.

In judging whether to get on that bike, however, your fear ought to be calibrated with some reason. What are the facts about bicycle safety? Is riding a bicycle typically a dangerous activity?

A recent study, forwarded on to us by the Boston Biker, suggests that the opposite is true. It’s more dangerous not to ride a bicycle.

“On average, the estimated health benefits of cycling were substantially larger than the risks relative to car driving for individuals shifting their mode of transport,” the study concludes. “For individuals shifting from cars to bicycles, the authors estimated that beneficial effects of increased physical activity would be substantially larger than potential mortality due to increased air pollution exposure and traffic accidents.”

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