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Harmful myths about bicycle safety

Did you know that approximately 100 million Americans ride a bike every year? The fact that there are so many bicyclists means that safety is essential. Whether you rely on your bike for a commute every day or are simply a casual rider, you must prioritize your safety.

Myths and misconceptions can get in the way of cycling safely. There are many misunderstandings about bicyclists across society. Here are a few of the most notable ones to stop believing. 

Myth: Helmet laws are the most effective way to ensure cyclists are safe

This is one of the misunderstandings with good intentions. There is no doubt that helmets are essential to your well-being as a bicyclist. Wearing a proper helmet reduces your risk of a brain injury by 85 percent. So while helmet legislation helps, it is not exactly the most effective. In fact, creating infrastructure solely for bikes, such as bike lanes or paths, is the best thing municipalities can do.

Myth: Bike-sharing programs are dangerous

Many cities across America are adopting bike-sharing initiatives. A lot of people believe that this is risky. The belief is that so many inexperienced riders renting bikes will result in more injuries and lawsuits. However, the complete opposite is true. There have been no deaths from bike-sharing systems since 2010. The injury rate is also lower than general cycling. 

Myth: Bicyclists break more laws than motorists

A lot of people think that cyclists are reckless lawbreakers. But there is no evidence to support this fact. While it is true that some cyclists roll through red lights or fail to use hand signals, there is no proof to suggest cyclists are more unlawful than drivers. In fact, a recent survey shows that drivers admit to breaking traffic laws more regularly than cyclists. 

The sooner we can put these myths to bed, the safer bicyclists can be on the road.