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|It is estimated that nearly 100 million bicycles are used today by Americans of all
ages. Each year, some 1,000 bicyclists are killed and 80,000 are injured in bicycle/motor
vehicle accidents, representing an economic loss of $275 million annually. When you add
the total number of bicycle accidents occurring each year which do not involve a motor
vehicle, it is estimated that our annual bicycle-accident toll is 1,220 deaths and 727,000
Bicycle-safety education programs have been developed over the years without the benefit of important empirical accident data. Dr. Kenneth D. Cross, of Anacapa Sciences, Inc., Santa Barbara, California, is perhaps the nation's foremost investigator and analyzer of bicycle accidents through his work with grants from the U. S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Because of the extensive data base now available on bicycle accidents, it is important that we evaluate our current educational activities for bicyclists at all age levels to redirect, if necessary, our goals and objectives in bicycle-safety education so that local community programs can be strengthened and made more effective in minimizing the losses suffered from bicycle accidents.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has asked Dr. Cross to present his data and, more importantly, his views on what educational countermeasures can be most effective in meeting the needs in bicycle safety today and in the years to come.
Dr. Cross is eminently qualified to accomplish this task. He has formal training in experimental psychology and has been engaged in applied research for the past 15 years. In addition to his accident studies for the Federal Government, Dr. Cross has worked with state and local governments in the development of bicycle-safety education programs for school-age children.
It is a privilege for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to make this important work by Dr. Kenneth Cross available to educators and community leaders for their use in improving bicycle-safety education programs.
Sam Yaksich, Jr., Executive Director