Raising Awareness of Bicycle Safety: Ride of Silence Honors Cyclists Killed in Road Accidents
Participants will take part in a silent slow ride, keeping speed to no more than 12mph/20kph to honor those killed or injured in road accidents whilst cycling on a public road.
The ride begins at 7pm on May 20th, in North America and will continue across the world in more than 17 other countries including Australia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and tiny countries like Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean.
Cyclists Killed on Public Roads
Statistics from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that just under 700 cyclists died on US roads in 2017, 90% as a result of collision with a motor vehicle. Hospital emergency rooms saw more than 500,000 injuries involving bicycles with 67,000 of those being head injuries.
It is clear that cycling on public roads can be dangerous and many cyclists are afraid to ride on the road as shown by a 2012 report from the National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitude and Behaviour where 13% of respondents felt their personal safety was at risk, 88% being most threatened by motorists.
History of the Ride of Silence
The first Ride of Silence took place in Dallas in 2003, organized by Chris Phelan to honor the death of his friend Larry Schwartz who was tragically killed by a passing bus when its mirror knocked him off the road. That first ride was intended to be a one-off event but a growing organization now exists with over 8000 cyclists participating in the 2018 event across the globe watched by over 22,000 people.
Promoting Bicycle Safety on Public Roads
Now a full organization funded purely by donations, Ride of Silence simply asks that motorists acknowledge the presence of cyclists on the road and share it with them.
Held during bike safety month, the ride is free to join and the only proviso is to be quiet to show respect for those who lost their lives and keep the speed under 12mph.
Wear a Cycle Helmet for Increased Bicycle Safety
The Insurance Institute for Bicycle Safety statistics for 2016 show that 95% of cyclists killed that year were reportedly not wearing a helmet. Whilst cycle helmets are not designed to protect the head in a high-speed impact, a properly fitted helmet can only help in reducing potential brain injuries. Cyclists taking part in the Ride of Silence should wear a helmet as in the picture below.
How to Join the Ride of Silence
Check out the list of rides already planned on the Ride of Silence website to find one in your local area. If one doesn’t exist, consider organizing a ride of your own to keep the movement growing and raising awareness of bicycle safety on the road.