I remember my parents taking my first puppy to church with us for a blessing ceremony when I was about 10 years old. Later, when I started driving in high school, my mother placed an amulet in my car, shaped like an angel with a quote beneath it:
“Don’t drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.”
Similar to the tradition of blessing animals, pets and homes, we are honoring cyclists and their bicycles. Today, I’m wearing this pin to commemorate the occasion. Religious leaders from different faiths were present in the ceremony to remember those who have been killed or injured in bicycle-related accidents, and to wish safe travels for everyone on the road. Good Samaritan Hospital Los Angeles hosted this annual event. Here is some information taken from their press release:
According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 630 bicyclists died in traffic crashes in the US in 2009 and more than half a million bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year.
Below are some more general conclusions and trends according to the NHTSA:
- Bicycle crashes and injuries are under-reported, since the majority is not serious enough for emergency room visits. 51,000 cyclists were reported injured in traffic crashes in 2009.
- Average age of cyclist killed in traffic crashes was 41.
- Cyclists under the age of 16 account for 13 percent of all cyclist killed and 20 percent of all those injured in traffic crashes.
- Cyclists ages 25 to 64 have made up an increasing proportion of all cyclist deaths since 2000.