News media can often fall into a rut of focusing on just a few stories among the endless stream of information and events happening in the world. Most of the time, stories that are important to the cycling community tend to get left out. Why is that?
In The News
Sadly, important events to the biking community aren’t always what the media would consider “newsworthy.” News outlets mainly focus on things with big effects, things happening near us, and things happening right now. Since biking communities tend to be small, close-knit groups, this often keeps their stories from being picked up by the news.
We often read the paper or watch the daily news with the expectation that important things are being conveyed to us. Important events are being covered in the news. Turmoil in the Middle East, fraud, negligence, corruption, and catastrophe are all extremely important things to be aware of. But they’re not the only things that are important to know about. In fact, some of these stories that are ignored by mainstream news may be the most important for you to know.
Outside the News
Outside of the daily news are events that get brief coverage in an end-of-year report. This is where some staggering statistics about biking can be found. These tragic events are reduced to numbers that don’t really convey the depth of the circumstance. There’s something quite sanitary about numbers that allow us to safely remove ourselves from really thinking about terrible things.
Today, we’d like to step away from that and remember that every accident, every life lost, and every injury happens to a real person.
In 2013, 688 cyclists were injured from collisions with cars here in Utah. Six more were killed. Each and every one of those 688 people has likely had to deal with incredible pain and significant hardship from their injury. Those six people never lived to see another day. With no information yet available for 2014 we can only assume that the numbers for last year are similar.
In Utah, an average of about two people are injured every day as a result of being hit by a car while riding a bike. These are events that news agencies often aren’t reporting. It’s not the fault of the agency—they report what we want to hear. Because these accidents occur so frequently, they’re no longer seen as something new. Sadly, they’ve just become a part of our reality—the normal in day to day life. But, they don’t have to be.
Even one death is one too many. Even one injury is one too many. We can do our part to change these numbers, to make cycling accidents a rarity instead of the norm. For example, the vast majority of cyclist deaths have been attributed to head injury. A solution is simple: wear a helmet. Safety should be our first priority whenever we’re on our bikes.
We understand that even when you do everything you can, accidents still happen. In fact, 48% of cyclists involved in crashes had no fault in the crash. If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact us. You can call us at (801)506-0800 or fill out our contact form. Each and every life is important. Your accident may not make the nightly news, but we promise to make the focus about you, and how we can help you.
Statistical information was gathered from the following sources: