"I agree that cycling in the UK is perceived by most to be a very dangerous pastime. At best, it is several times more dangerous to be commuting by bicycle than by car. However, it is also true to say that regardless of the likelihood of being mown down during one's journey to work, regular cyclists live longer than non-cyclists.
This makes me assume two things:
1. The likelihood of being killed or seriously injured while cycling is still extremely low.
2. The benefits gained through improved fitness levels far outweigh the dangers of getting on your bike.
Despite this, the majority of people have no concept of the damage they are stacking up due to a sedentary lifestyle, bad diet, and even smoking. They only see the danger in the here and now.
The stats do show that the more people who cycle, the safer it becomes.
Of course, campaigns to encourage cycling which also encourage buying a helmet, hi-vis clothing, lights, and reflectors only go to reinforce cycling's reputation as dangerous.
However, under any circumstances, I would much rather be wearing a good quality helmet, and if at night wear hi-vis and be using a good set of lights, as this will definitely mean motorists are more likely to see me, and if they don't, my head is reasonably well protected. Even if everyone in the country rode a bike, this would still be the case."