Gory comics teach bike safety

These bike safety comics aren't for the faint of heart. If you're squeamish, you should look away. Bike helmets aren't cool. But comic books and gory video games are. That's the idea behind these graphic comic books about bicycle safety created by the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

Eighty percent of kids under 18 hit by cars on a bike are boys. So how you get their attention and complete with other popular forms of violent entertainment? Graphic imagery of cracked skulls, gushing blood, and mangled legs. Because the consequences of bike injuries are very real. The single most important thing you can do is wear a helmet. Other issues include stopping at red lights and avoiding drivers' blind spots. Not very thrilling…until you see the bones crunch.

Some parents find the comic books unsettling. But even more unsettling are the real life fatalities. Only 1% of all trips taken in the U.S. are on bikes, but bicyclists face a higher risk of injury and death. In 2013, over 900 bicyclists were killed and there were more than 494,000 bike-related E.R. visits.

The books are only distributed with school approval, but are so popular that other cities are asking for reprints. Too real or not, this is one comic book series that could improve every metropolis.