Advertisement

Bike Accidents are Up for Adults, Down for Kids

Bike Accidents are Up for Adults, Down for Kids

David Byrne, front man and cofounder of the Talking Heads, is also an avid bicyclist. In 2010 he wrote Bicycle Diaries; tales of riding his bike in far flung places, from Sydney to San Francisco. But one evening in New York, while pedaling back from an art opening (he doesn’t own a car) he slipped and broke 2 ribs. It could have been worse. A recent study found the mortality rate among cyclists ages 35 to 54 tripled over the last 40 years from 0.11 to 0.31 per 100,000 riders.

Conversely, over the same period the mortality rate for kids plummeted. But the older set apparently needs to brush-up on bike safety. True, more people are biking for exercise and to commute to work than ever before, but that’s no excuse. Older bicycling adults remain at elevated risk.

So while you may have heard this before, we’ll say it again: Wear a helmet! (Middle-agers need to protect their brains! And you want to show, not just tell, your kids how important helmets are.) Dress in bright/reflective clothes. Always have–and use—a bell and put a light both front and back on your bike. Obey all traffic laws. When riding with friends, stay single file and stay to the right on bike paths. Don’t ride with headphones, and never text or use your cell phone when pedaling. Be aware of what’s happening around you! Bet your kids know these rules by heart. Now it’s your turn.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

Benefits of Biking to Work
Benefits of Biking to Work
One of Denmark’s most famous sons was storyteller Hans Christian Anderson. He authored The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and The Emperor’s New Clo...
Read More
Bike to Work—But Wear Your Helmet
Bike to Work—But Wear Your Helmet
Recently I chatted with a childhood friend about the crazy, unsafe things we did on bicycles when we were young. Whether it was launching ourselves of...
Read More
What is a good body weight exercise for cycling and running?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Bodyweight Lunges. An easy way to get a good lower body workout that will help to maintain stren...
More Answers
What is the best way to improve my time to exhaustion on the bike?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
While athletes have long thought that the best way to train their aerobic system was to spend lo...
More Answers