Many people love riding their bicycles to get exercise while enjoying the outdoor scenery and pleasant weather. But bike riders also face the risk of a collision from inattentive motorists. All bicyclists do not face an equal risk of a deadly auto accident, however. Depending on where you ride your bike and the time of day, your chances of experiencing an auto accident may increase.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains when bicycle riders are more likely to suffer a collision and die. Based upon survey data, the NHTSA concluded the most common hours for bicycle deaths were between 6 and 9 pm. Bicyclists faced a greater risk of a fatal accident during the early evening hours when people were getting off work or headed for various evening activities.
The NHTSA also compared bicycle deaths in urban areas versus rural locales. It turned out that bicyclist deaths were much more likely to happen in urban environments. In 2017, 75% of bicyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas while only 25% happened in rural environments. So bicycle riders generally face greater risks when riding in city streets or suburban neighborhoods as opposed to sparsely populated rural communities.
This information tells us that bicycle riders should do all they can to remain visible since many bicyclists suffer fatal injury during the night. Bicycles should have reflectors, a red back light and a white front light. Also, bicycle riders should not neglect visibility during the daytime since many motorists still might not spot you because of the smaller size of your bike compared to other vehicles. Bright clothes may assist in this regard.
Also remember that you can plan your routes in advance. If you do not want to risk riding on a road with a lot of traffic, you can choose a road where you know traffic is much lighter. Traffic apps may also inform you about current traffic levels. Some riders forego streets and ride on bike lanes or bike paths. Keeping away from traffic may be just what some bikers need to have a proper peace of mind.