Benefits of Safe Bicycling
Bicycling is an age-old American past time. It is a recreational and fitness activity enjoyed by children and adults—with about 85 million adults and children riding their bikes every year.
For some Americans, biking is also a healthy, clean, economical, and fun alternative for commuting to and from work. Every morning, an estimated half million employees bike to work in the United States. For employees, biking to work costs less than driving or taking public transportation. It is also a great way for them to stay in shape, lead a healthy lifestyle and arrive at work refreshed and full of energy.
Health and Fitness Benefits
Eighty percent of Americans do not get the recommended 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week. An alarming number are becoming more sedentary and obese, consequently risking their lives. Inactivity is a factor in 10 percent of total deaths and 25 percent of chronic disease-related deaths.
Biking is a moderate, low-impact, aerobic, physical activity suitable for all age groups. Since 25 percent of all trips are within a mile of home, it’s ideal to ride a bicycle for good health. And while you are enhancing your physical health, you are improving your mental outlook and overall quality of life
Community and Environmental Benefits
Every day cars and trucks burn millions of barrels of oil, a non-renewable energy source. Bicycles are 100 percent non-polluting. Every trip made by a bicycle instead of a car reduces the burden of low-level ozone, nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide, soot and noise on our environment and health.
Since short car trips (0 to 5 miles) are the most polluting, encouraging employees who live within five miles of work by bicycle can make a large difference in everyone’s quality of life. Converting short trips by cars and trucks to bicycles is a way to reduce energy needs and pollution emissions in the transportation sector.
Social Responsibility Benefits
Communities that promote bicycling and the infrastructure that support it are more livable communities—contributing to a healthy sense of identity and place that attract businesses and workers as well as tourism.
Support for bicycling promotes your company image as a community-oriented and environmentally responsible employer, your employees will feel pride in working for an organization that recognizes the importance of social and environmental responsibility.
Economic Benefits to Employers and Employees
Benefits to Employers
There are many positive consequences of safe bicycling whether the cyclist rides recreationally or is an avid bike commuter. Economic rewards to employers are realized through reduced health care costs, less absenteeism and employee turnover and a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.
It has also been noted that a dozen bicycles can be parked in one car’s parking space. Bicycle parking is one-third to one-sixth the cost of car parking and frees up more parking space for customers. Having employees who commute by bike cuts down on the traffic at the worksite as well as on the roadways and in parking lots.
Benefits to Employees
Bicycling is an affordable form of transportation. Owning a car is expensive and according to AAA estimates, accounts for more than 18 percent of a typical household’s income, while the League of American Bicyclists estimates the cost of operating a bicycle for a year to be only $120. When a worksite provides safe parking facilities and other amenities for bikes and cyclists, employees can ride to work more often and spend less on transportation costs.
Sources for Information on the Benefits of Bicycling
- League of American Bicyclists
- National Bicycling and Walking Study Final Report
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Courtesy of NETS’ Benefits of Safe Biking on www.trafficsafety.org
To learn more about your legal rights, call (801-424-5252) or email Greg for a free consultation.
Return to the Staying Safe While Biking page.
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