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Bicycles Are One Of The Most Eco-Friendly Ways To Travel, But Is It Worth it?

car and bicycle accidentA bicycle manufacturer is working on a bicycle that purifies the air as cyclists pedal from point A to point B. Lightfog Creative Director Silawat Virakul is developing a prototype with a filter fastened on the bicycle’s handle bars. The filter and air purifier would filter dust, pollution, and car emissions out of the air around the bicyclist. In order to be cost effective, Virakul would have to produce the bicycles in large shipments — something he is unlikely to be able to do without more support and funding.

Although air-purifying bikes aren’t quite practical yet, one fact remains: bicycling is still one of the most eco-friendly forms of transportation. Here are just a few stats:

  • Bikes are 50% faster than automobiles during rush hour.
  • Bikes produce zero pollution annually, compared to cars’ .97 pounds of pollution per mile.
  • As for air pollution, “80% of the carbon monoxide in the atmosphere comes from motorized vehicles that operate on gas and diesel,” according to The San Francisco Chronicle. Once again, bikes emit none.

With the perks of biking short commutes versus driving, why are many Americans stubbornly sticking with their cars? Unfortunately, safety (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) may be the number one thing preventing more people from bicycling regularly. Statistically, car and bicycle accidents are highly likely to end in fatalities; in fact, two-thirds of car and bike accidents result in death and one out of eight result in a traumatic brain injury.

And many recognize that bicycling injuries are often not the fault of the cyclist. In fact, 37% of fatal crashes with a car and bike involve a drunk driver, and most bicycle fatalities occur in urban or densely populated areas, where there are more cars. Of course, there are initiatives urging drivers to be more careful and to practice safer driving on a day-to-day basis. In the meantime, if would-be commuters are put off by bicycle injury statistics, they can talk to bicycle injury lawyers to learn their rights and/or stay off the roads at the most dangerous times (i.e., night) to avoid a car and bicycle accident.