Saturday, November 10, 2007

Safety in numbers

See the following study, in which the author compared the risk of mortality of cycling with the benefit to mortality of getting daily exercise that a bicycle commute would provide, and found by a wide margin that cycling is the safer alternative:

The study was done in Oxfordshire, UK, where the roads are presumably more cycling-friendly than in automobile-centric North America. However, I think many of the conclusions are transferrable. In particular, I have heard the truth again and again that more cyclists on the road means fewer accidents. Safety in numbers!

A notable quote:
"Sedentary lifestyle is a major threat to public health. Walking and cycling for transport are effective ways for people to engage in regular exercise with all its commensurate benefits for health. A modal shift towards these forms of transport should reduce car use, thus further improving road safety, and reducing the environmental damage caused by current travel patterns. There would also be positive social and community effects, with greater social cohesion, higher levels of social capital, and a stronger focus on local communities; all these factors are likely to have a positive influence on health."

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