Originally Posted by

**Helmet Head**
I'm not calling for leaving out driver education regarding cyclists - I'm calling into question the *amount of emphasis* we -- cycling advocates-- put on the "driver/traffic problem" overall, and looking for solutions outside of ourselves, rather than putting the emphasis on searching for solutions within ourselves (like divers do).

As potential victims of drivers, we should study their behavior. But I think we could be much more effective at taking driver behavior as a given, like divers take their potential dangers as a given, and learn how to be safe in spite of that danger, rather than beating our heads against the wall trying to change that behavior. This is particularly true considering the vast majority of car-bike collisions involve little if any illegal or negligent behavior by the driver. We are spending the majority of our efforts on something that we can hardly affect, and even if we could, it would make cycling much safer anyway.

Do you know the 80/20 rule - that says that 80% of the job can often be done with 20% of the effort. It's the remaining 20% that takes 80% of the effort. The way it applies to safe traffic cycling is that the 80% of the job that can be done with 20% of the effort is education of cyclists. The other 20%, which takes 80% of the effort, is perhaps mostly motorist education.

But also consider how few units of effort we have to work with. Say it takes 10,000 units of effort to solve 100% of the "cyclist safety in traffic" problem, and we have about 1500 units to work with. Well, the motorist education part is only 20% of the problem, but it takes 8,000 units (80%) to solve it. The cyclist education takes only 2,000 units to solve, but that's 80% of the whole problem. How do you think we should distribute our efforts? How do you think we are distributing our efforts?

What I see is that the vast majority of our effort (say 1400 of our 1500 units) is going towards motorist education, but 1400 is just a drop in the buck of the 8,000 units required to solve the motorist education problem. That 1400/8,000 (17.5%) of 20% of the problem. So we're using 93% (1400/1500) of our effort to solve 3.5% (17.5% of 20%) of the total problem!

At the same time, we're only spending 100 units against cyclist education. That's about 6.5% of our effort trying to solve 80% of the problem, or it solves 5% more of the total problem. So, by distributing our efforts mostly on motorist education we're solving only about 8.5% of the total problem.

Now consider if we refocused our efforts, and put all 1500 of our available units against cyclist education. Now we're solving 75% of 80% of the problem, or 60% of the total problem! Doesn't spending an effort to solve about 60% of a problem make a lot more sense than spending the same effort so solve only about 8% of the problem?

I don't care if some of our effort goes to motorist education, I just think it should be a relatively small percentage. Most importantly, the vast majority of cycling advocacy should go to cyclist education, because that's where we get the bang for the buck! And the first step in that direction is conveying the information about how important cyclist education is, and combatting the idea that most cyclists seem to hold, that we're like sitting ducks out there *no matter what we know or how we behave*.