For several years, I have been using Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD) shoes, pedals, and cleats. After thousands of miles, I was proficient at using them. However, being clipped to my pedals most probably contributed to the outcome of my bicycle accident. The outcome of my bicycle accident on September 15, 2021, was a broken femur that required partial hip replacement and months of physical therapy. Consider the risk of being clipped to your pedals.
The accident happened so fast that I have no memory of the trip to the ground. Since I do not exactly know how I broke my femur, I have developed a theory. Falling as I did, my saddle was in position to exert enough force on the neck of my femur to break it. A complicating factor was that my feet were clipped to the pedals.
During the accident, I fell toward the right. I hit the ground with significant force. The motion of the bike, as it continued the flipping motion, lifted my right foot and my right leg upward. Since my right leg was connected to the right pedal, it was being pulled upward. That same motion pressed the saddle against my femur with the force of impact as my right hip hit the ground. That is almost certainly what broke the ball off of my femur.
Of course, my pedals were not the cause of the accident. The cause of the accident was the unsafe condition of the C&O towpath where the accident occurred. Unfortunately, my SPD pedals affected the severity of my injury.
Personally, I can no longer take the risk of being clipped to my pedals. If you use SPD or some other clip system, be aware of the risk. You have no control of the outcome of an accident because things happen so fast. If you fall and your luck runs out as it did with me, you may have the same result or some other unpredictable bad outcome. Consider the risk of being clipped to your pedals.