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Old 09-07-05, 10:07 PM   #1
lilHinault
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Those Radio Traffic Accident Reports

OK every day there are TONS of car accident reports, that's just the daily carnage, but then there are always reports of motorcycle accidents too. These seem to be out of proportion to the number of motorcyclists on the road, but again this seems to be backed up by reports I have seen, showing that motorcyclists do have more accidents than cars drivers, mile for mile.

But:

Where are the reports of the BICYCLE accidents? There are more bicyclists than motorcyclists out there on the road, and the radio station is interested in anything that well, "if if bleeds, it leads" you know.

So:

Are bicyclists simply not having many accidents at all? Are what few accidents there are, so minor that they don't merit a radio report? I'd guess anything that blocks up traffic would get reported, and that would include a bicyclist lying spread-eagle in some intersection while things are sorted out and the ambulance is called.

My conclusion:

Even though this and the Commuting forum make it seem like it's a war zone out there, and at times we all feel like it's a war zone out there, it would seem that there are just not very many serious bicycle traffic accidents. At all. Even though there are a fair number of us out there, more than motorcyclists by far, and thus it is Pretty Darned Safe to ride a bike!

Other possible conclusions:

(1) Bicyclists aren't out on the freeways, they're on smaller roads, and something that stops traffic is rarely reported there, it's the freeway traffic the reporters and their listeners care about.
(2) The biggie is, Was one or more driver's precious cars damaged? That's new! A bicyclist doesn't damage a car much, hence, no story.
(3) If bicycle accidents are not even mentioned, most people will not get a reminder that it's possible to travel by bike and that a surprising lot of people do it.
(4) The Secret-Underground-Good-Guy-Illuminati don't want bicycle accidents to be reported because it makes bicycles look bad. And bicycles are good!
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Old 09-07-05, 11:28 PM   #2
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Had a bike accident recently. $150 damage to me (this is including cosmetic: tire sidewall, seat, brake lever scratches) and a new helmet. No body damage (ok, scrape on elbow, but very minor)

Car: Probably 2-3k in body work, at least. 1x2 foot dent in the passenger side rear door.

Don't assume that bikes fare worse, at least, not always. Somehow, miraculously, I escaped unscathed...
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Old 09-08-05, 12:37 AM   #3
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Yeah, much left out in my post, and it was long enough!

It still mystifies me, you hear about truck accidents, car accidents, stuff spilled on the road, roadwork, motorcycle accidents, all kinds of stuff but you never hear reports of bicycle or bicycle vs. car accidents.
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Old 09-08-05, 06:56 AM   #4
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A bike crash rarely causes a two mile backup on a major road. Traffic reports are intended to assist travellers in avoiding congestion. Unless a crash is holding up other commuters, there's no reason to report it.
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Old 09-08-05, 07:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilHinault
OK every day there are TONS of car accident reports, that's just the daily carnage, but then there are always reports of motorcycle accidents too. These seem to be out of proportion to the number of motorcyclists on the road, but again this seems to be backed up by reports I have seen, showing that motorcyclists do have more accidents than cars drivers, mile for mile.

But:

Where are the reports of the BICYCLE accidents? There are more bicyclists than motorcyclists out there on the road, and the radio station is interested in anything that well, "if if bleeds, it leads" you know.

So:

Are bicyclists simply not having many accidents at all? Are what few accidents there are, so minor that they don't merit a radio report? I'd guess anything that blocks up traffic would get reported, and that would include a bicyclist lying spread-eagle in some intersection while things are sorted out and the ambulance is called.

My conclusion:

Even though this and the Commuting forum make it seem like it's a war zone out there, and at times we all feel like it's a war zone out there, it would seem that there are just not very many serious bicycle traffic accidents. At all. Even though there are a fair number of us out there, more than motorcyclists by far, and thus it is Pretty Darned Safe to ride a bike!

Other possible conclusions:

(1) Bicyclists aren't out on the freeways, they're on smaller roads, and something that stops traffic is rarely reported there, it's the freeway traffic the reporters and their listeners care about.
(2) The biggie is, Was one or more driver's precious cars damaged? That's new! A bicyclist doesn't damage a car much, hence, no story.
(3) If bicycle accidents are not even mentioned, most people will not get a reminder that it's possible to travel by bike and that a surprising lot of people do it.
(4) The Secret-Underground-Good-Guy-Illuminati don't want bicycle accidents to be reported because it makes bicycles look bad. And bicycles are good!
I think you have a lot of misdirected anger.

The radio traffic report is intended for drivers. Most cyclists do not have a radio while they ride and those that do, don't need to know that there is a back up on the northbound interstate at the Smith Rd. exit since the cyclist won't be anywhere near that area. The radio traffic report usually only will contain major freeways and roads that see 10,000+ cars a day. There is no time to announce every traffic backup in the tri-county area.
If there were to be a byclist spread eagle in the middle of "Main Street" and they had to wait 2 hours to get an ambulence with a spatula, then yeah, they'd announce it. But Johnny Cyclist getting hit by a car on Oakwood Blvd isn't going to make headlines. If Mark Driver goes on a rampage hitting every cyclist he sees, he'll make the news to warn the public.

Bike accidents typically aren't reported because it is not of "public interest" to hear them. Most people listening to the radio are in cars, most drivers aren't cyclists, thus, cyclist injuries are not reported.

The Illuminati and Priory of Sion had nothing to do with it.
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Old 09-08-05, 07:58 AM   #6
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Fatal accidents to cyclists are pretty rare -- we get about two a year around here. When they happen, they definitely make the radio news, not the traffic report but the news report.

When they're on the radio my wife calls me to make sure it wasn't me.
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Old 09-08-05, 08:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
A bike crash rarely causes a two mile backup on a major road. Traffic reports are intended to assist travellers in avoiding congestion. Unless a crash is holding up other commuters, there's no reason to report it.
agreed. i've heard car/ped accidents, or car/bike accidents many times, BUT - it's always been on a major road, where the car or police activity has blocked a lane

points 2, 3, and 4 seem irrelevent to me. the point of traveling by bike is that it IS small and efficient. a flat tire on a bike has no need to be on the radio.

i wouldn't be interested in hearing about a minor car/bike accident on the corner of 1st and elm. if a bunch of bikes fell off a truck on the 405, then i might want to know.
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Old 09-08-05, 09:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by lilHinault
Other possible conclusions:

(1) Bicyclists aren't out on the freeways, they're on smaller roads, and something that stops traffic is rarely reported there, it's the freeway traffic the reporters and their listeners care about.
(2) The biggie is, Was one or more driver's precious cars damaged? That's new! A bicyclist doesn't damage a car much, hence, no story.
(3) If bicycle accidents are not even mentioned, most people will not get a reminder that it's possible to travel by bike and that a surprising lot of people do it.
(4) The Secret-Underground-Good-Guy-Illuminati don't want bicycle accidents to be reported because it makes bicycles look bad. And bicycles are good!
5. When a motorcycle gets into an accident, it can close two or three lanes or maybe the entire road if it results in a police investigation (fatality)
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Old 09-08-05, 10:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
5. When a motorcycle gets into an accident, it can close two or three lanes or maybe the entire road if it results in a police investigation (fatality)
same with a fatal bike, or a mattress in the road, or a kitty stuck in the sewer. i don't think anyone's excluding bikes, i've heard accidents involving bikes, but i think the reason no one hears about bikes is:

very few of them

bikes are mostly on side streets, no fwys and major roads

unless fatal or police investigation, bikes vs car accident rarely cause traffic tie ups
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Old 09-08-05, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan_yulaev
Had a bike accident recently. $150 damage to me (this is including cosmetic: tire sidewall, seat, brake lever scratches) and a new helmet. No body damage (ok, scrape on elbow, but very minor)

Car: Probably 2-3k in body work, at least. 1x2 foot dent in the passenger side rear door.

Don't assume that bikes fare worse, at least, not always. Somehow, miraculously, I escaped unscathed...
Did this get reported anywhere? Are any statistics getting compiled based on your accident or did you and the motorist simply exchange information and expect to settle up later?

I ask as I feel that like the absent radio reports, there are also absent accident reports and that this data skews statistics about cycling.

I know in two of the three accidents I was in (over 30 years...) two of them never went anywhere "official."
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Old 09-08-05, 02:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
5. When a motorcycle gets into an accident, it can close two or three lanes or maybe the entire road if it results in a police investigation (fatality)
Yep. We had a big traffic circle shut down just the other week due to a scooter(Vespa type) accident.

I've seen both bicycle and ped accidents reported on TV,just not in the traffic report.
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Old 09-08-05, 03:10 PM   #12
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I think your premise is amiss. There are thousands of fender benders, commonly called non-injury accidents, which are only a listing on a police log if that. If every fender bender were made an item of a radio report, I don't think I'd be the only one NOT listening.

What is the definition you are using for a bike accident? If I flub up in clicking out of my pedal and fall over, does that count? If your car falls over, it cetainly merits mention.

I seriously doubt whether major cycling accidents go unreported by the media. They certainly cover virtually all serious "hit and runs" where a cyclist is injured and all fatalities.

A vehicle laying on its side can be easily seen from a helicopter flying over head and the fact it is on its side sufficiently unusual to merit mention. A bike laying around ... well you get the point.
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Last edited by webist; 09-08-05 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Typos
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