In the summer, you might have been commuting by bike to work.
But a new study suggests you’re also more likely to be killed by a bike crash than by an automobile.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health, looked at the risk of death in the first week of a bike ride in the United States from the last month of the previous year.
Researchers looked at data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Uniform Vehicle Crash Database from 2012 to 2014.
They also looked at crash data from California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Washington DC, and New York State, to see if crashes involving a car increased or decreased during the time period studied.
“We were able to identify a significant association between crashes involving bicycles and a higher risk of injury and death compared to drivers, but it was not a strong association,” lead author Robert J. Warshaw, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, told Vice News.
“It was pretty surprising.”
When you consider that about 15 percent of the U.S. population is now cycling, Warshab said, the study shows that cyclists are more likely than drivers to die in an accident.
It’s important to note, however, that this is a study about bicycle crashes, not cars.
And there is a good chance that there is an underlying risk for cyclists that is not well understood, Washab said.
“You can’t rule out a lot of things that could be driving people to bike.”
And that could include distracted driving, distracted driving in the backseat, or simply not wearing a helmet, he added.
Washavas study also found that bicyclists were less likely to survive the crash than drivers.
This, in part, could be due to their lower body mass.
According to Warshavas team, their findings may help explain why bicyclists are more vulnerable to injuries in crashes.
But the researchers said they were also interested in studying the relationship between bike riding and injury rates in the U and overseas.
Washingaw, who also happens to be the head of the Department of Public Safety’s Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said that one of the goals of the study was to better understand the risk factors and causes of bicycle crashes.
“In the United Kingdom and Germany, we’ve seen an increase in cyclist-related fatalities, which could be the result of other factors, but we wanted to know more about the factors that could contribute to injury,” he said.
Wshavas work, combined with a 2015 study that looked at bike-to-work deaths in New York City, is a first step toward identifying the causes of bike crashes.
He said the study could provide a more detailed picture of the link between riding a bike and injury, and could help to prevent or mitigate bike-related injuries in the future.
“There’s been a lot more attention focused on injury and fatalities, but when you combine that with crashes, it could be that injury and deaths are more related to bicycle-related crashes,” Warshaws co-author and associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Policy, Jonathan G. Johnson, told VICE News.
Johnson also added that bike crashes are more common in urban areas, which may explain why people who commute by bike are more at risk for death.
“When you’re riding your bike, there’s less of an impact on the environment and less risk for accidents.
In fact, if you take the whole city and you go from a dense city to a suburban city, there is less impact on your environment, so you’re not doing as much damage,” he added, noting that the city is also home to a lot less infrastructure that could mitigate the impacts of bike-lane collisions.
But Johnson added that the study’s findings don’t mean that you should avoid biking to work, or even just riding to work at all.
“I think this is the first study to identify an increased risk of bike injury when you ride a bicycle to work,” he told VICE.
“But it doesn’t mean you should stop.”
Warshashavs study is part of a larger trend to track crashes and injuries.
Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the average annual death toll from traffic-related injury in the US is more than 13,000.
That is more deaths than car accidents, fires, and natural disasters.
According of the CDC, nearly two-thirds of the US population lives in areas with more than 2 million people.
But if you compare that to other countries, they’ve had similar deaths and injuries for decades.
“The numbers of injuries and deaths in the developed world are actually about half of what they are in the developing world,” Johnson said.
Johnson added the CDC is now looking at ways to improve the safety of bikeways in the country, including increasing the number of traffic lights