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Old 07-17-05, 10:52 PM   #1
trayer350
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Deadly the last few days, be careful

A 13-year-old boy riding a bicycle near his South Side home was struck and killed by a speeding car Friday, Chicago police said. Alfred Belton Jr. ...
July 16, 2005
An 8-year-old boy on a bicycle was struck and killed Saturday by a sport utility vehicle on a road near his home in Semmes.

APPLETON A 51-year-old Appleton man still is in critical condition after falling off his bike Thursday morning at E. Wisconsin Avenue and Drew Street. ...

police reported, Bernard S. Diggs died about 9:55 pm at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital from injuries caused when a vehicle struck his bicycle about 8:40 pm ...

Concord Monitor, NH - Jul 14, 2005
... the police said. The accident left the bicycle's front tire bent and the windshield of the car cracked and sagging. The police investigated

Kansas City Star, MO - Jul 16, 2005
By RON KNOX The Kansas City Star. An Olathe man died Friday morning of injuries he suffered when a car struck his bicycle in Prairie Village on Thursday night. ...

CHICAGO (AP) A college student was beaten to death with his own bicycle lock during a fight near campus, and two men were charged with first-degree murder ...

KATC, LA - Jul 12, 2005
MONROE, La. A Monroe bicycle rider is dead after being hit by two drivers and both motorists are still at large. The victim -- 62 ...
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Old 07-18-05, 12:08 AM   #2
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I am sorry that 5 of our fellow cyclists died. It is a timely reminder that we all have to be more careful.

However, that is 5 deaths out of literally millions of people who have been riding in this warm summer weather. The list of pedestrians killed would probably be even longer. The list of motorists killed would certainly be much longer.
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Old 07-18-05, 12:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Roody
I am sorry that 5 of our fellow cyclists died. It is a timely reminder that we all have to be more careful.

However, that is 5 deaths out of literally millions of people who have been riding in this warm summer weather. The list of pedestrians killed would probably be even longer. The list of motorists killed would certainly be much longer.

I wish that was true. As a former police reporter, I know that a death only gets mentioned if there is something interesting about it, if they have the time for it, if they have the room for it, if the police reporter isn't busy with something else, if the police remember to mention it, if the reporter even cares about a cyclist. A motorist's death generally gets top billing over a bicycle rider's death. Many cyclist's serious injuries won't get mentioned in any case. You can bet a lot more cyclists are suffering that what you see here--a lot more. What was the TV show that ended--"remember, let's be careful out there." I can't remember. I think it was on television.
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Old 07-18-05, 12:53 AM   #4
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I was not suggesting that "5 out of millions" was an accurate representation of cycling deaths or injuries. Maybe it's 1,000 out of millions, or 10,000, or something like that. And that includes kids and adults who have never had safety training. Either way, the odds are pretty good that none of us will die on our next bike ride. Or the one after that.

BTW, that was Sgt. Phil Esterhouse on Hill Street Blues. He was talking to street cops in the high-crime Reagan years.
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Old 07-18-05, 08:12 AM   #5
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On average, two cyclists die every day in the US -- about 700 in a typical year. On a typical day, about ten pedestrians are killed by cars, and over 100 occupants are killed in cars.

It may be that I am more attuned to stories about cyclists, but my subjective impression is that they are relatively over-reported. I think I read more than one-fiftieth the number of car-crash stories or one-fifth the number of pedestrian crash stories.

In any case, the number of cycling fatalities is actually quite low and by most measures cycling is really quite safe.
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Old 07-18-05, 08:26 AM   #6
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Not just over-reported (and I'm not sure if that's true) but what always bothers me is that they always have to slip something in about whether or not the rider had a helmet. I wish they would always include whether or not the driver had taken drivers' ed online or how many tickets they had, or if they were on the phone or watching a DVD or something like that because the blame shouldn't be shifted to our safety equipment but to the driver's bad driving where it belongs.
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Old 07-18-05, 08:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DCCommuter
On average, two cyclists die every day in the US -- about 700 in a typical year. On a typical day, about ten pedestrians are killed by cars, and over 100 occupants are killed in cars.

It may be that I am more attuned to stories about cyclists, but my subjective impression is that they are relatively over-reported. I think I read more than one-fiftieth the number of car-crash stories or one-fifth the number of pedestrian crash stories.

In any case, the number of cycling fatalities is actually quite low and by most measures cycling is really quite safe.
Thanks for these figures, DC. I remember when I first started coming to this forum. The constant reports of cycling deaths really freaked me out. I had to figure out that, while accurately reported, the stories here were a misrepresentation of the actual dangers of cycling. It's good to put it all in perspective.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DCCommuter
On average, two cyclists die every day in the US -- about 700 in a typical year. On a typical day, about ten pedestrians are killed by cars, and over 100 occupants are killed in cars.
That may be true, but I would suspect the number of bicyclists to car occupants is larger than 1:50, and the number of bicyclists to pedestrians is larger than 1:5.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Roody
BTW, that was Sgt. Phil Esterhouse on Hill Street Blues. He was talking to street cops in the high-crime Reagan years.
LOL... more likely the high-crime Koch and Dinkins years...
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Old 07-18-05, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
On average, two cyclists die every day in the US -- about 700 in a typical year. On a typical day, about ten pedestrians are killed by cars, and over 100 occupants are killed in cars.

It may be that I am more attuned to stories about cyclists, but my subjective impression is that they are relatively over-reported. I think I read more than one-fiftieth the number of car-crash stories or one-fifth the number of pedestrian crash stories.

In any case, the number of cycling fatalities is actually quite low and by most measures cycling is really quite safe.
Though I can't cite the exact numbers, I think it is obvious that relatively few people ride a bike compared to people who walk. That means that the number of bicyclists who die compared to pedestrians is shockingly high.
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Old 07-18-05, 10:36 AM   #11
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We can have this argument again if you want to, but DC (among others) has argued it very effectively in earlier threads. He sure knows his figures, and how to interpret him. For example, I think he would gladly supply comparative data for fatalities per mile, per trip, per user, or per just about anything else you can think of. I can never remember more than the gist of these statistics, which is that cycling is less risky than many other forms of transportation. Also, I recall that accident rates are negatively correlated with rider experience.

Trayer--it is your opinion that cycling is a "shockingly" dangerous activity. In what ways does this belief affect your own cycling behavior? Do you avoid some types of cycling because they seem more risky? Can you, with good conscience, encourage (or even allow) your relatives and acquaintances to join you for a bike ride? Do you believe that there is anything that we as cyclists can do to reduce the presumed risks? Do you think that trained or experienced adult cyclists are less likely to get hurt?

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Old 07-18-05, 11:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by trayer350
Though I can't cite the exact numbers, I think it is obvious that relatively few people ride a bike compared to people who walk. That means that the number of bicyclists who die compared to pedestrians is shockingly high.
I think if you looked into the exact numbers, you'd find that you are shockingly incorrect. In Washington, DC, cyclists are estimated by the census to be 1.6% of the traffic and 2% of traffic fatalities. Pedestrians account for 3% of trips and are 17% of fatalities.

Here's a well thought-out and researched article to get you started:
http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm

It's a long article, but he does a good job of addressing the difficulty of comparing different modes of transportation and navigating the often-conflicting statistics.

You may also want to try googling "bicycle fatality rate." Once you've done that we can have an informed debate.
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Old 07-19-05, 10:06 PM   #13
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Pedestrians would include drunks stumbling about. If you can exclude them, give me the new numbers.
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Old 07-19-05, 11:21 PM   #14
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It's always deadly out there.
It's not enough to become aware of this only when we lose comrades.
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Old 07-20-05, 06:33 AM   #15
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Moderators - cant you change the title of this forum to "Whiners"
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Old 07-20-05, 09:13 AM   #16
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Well I agree bicycling is shockingly dangerous. But before you jump on me, the statistics also show that driving and being a pedestrian are as well, if not worse.

I think far more should be done to make the roads and sidewalks safer.

Al
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Old 07-20-05, 01:52 PM   #17
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LOL... more likely the high-crime Koch and Dinkins years...
While no city was explicitly mentioned (the cars had "METRO POLICE" on them), Hill Street Blues was set in Chicago.
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