News stories constantly remind us of the data showing Florida as the most dangerous state in the nation for recreational cycling. Our major metropolitan areas consistently ranked in the top five nationally for cycling deaths and injury accidents.
We recently came upon data through the Orlando metropolitan planning organization (MetroPlan Orlando) based on their 2003/2004 report of urban Orlando cycling data. They cited a review by Failure Analytics, Inc. in 1993 which compared fatal injuries sustained in various transportation modes per million hours of participation.
Their conclusion was that recreational cyclists who generally obey traffic laws had about half of the fatalities as those occupying a vehicle. Translation: cycling was about twice as safe as riding a car.
The safest mode of transportation was flying, being a passenger on a school bus, then recreational cycling followed by occupying a vehicle. Motorcycle riding fared much worse by far.
They found bicycle fatalities had been heavily skewed by those riding while drunk, riding at night without a light and generally disobeying traffic laws. We can make this data even better by wearing the best helmet technology, obeying traffic laws, wearing bright florescent colors and using bright flashing lights front and rear (none of which was apparently factored into their data).