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Old 09-15-06, 08:02 AM   #1
sbhikes
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Some statistics

Even though everybody says that being hit from behind is really rare it seems that that's the way people die a lot of the time. Just hanging around here and in the bentrider forum I think every announcement of a friend's death on a bike was when they were hit from behind.

I got this in a couple of emails:
Quote:
One point the police officer made at the La Colina meeting this week really made an impact: He stated that Jake's accident was very rare. Being hit from the rear only accounts for 2% of all bike/car accidents. However, he went on to say that even though it only occured 2% of the time, this type of accident accounted for 50% of all fatalities."

------

Some statistics may help put things into perspective.

It's more dangerous to drive a motor vehicle than a bike. 19.9 motorists
per million die in car crashes each year; only 16.5 bicyclists per
million die in bike crashes each year. On a per hour basis, motorists
are nearly twice as likely to die in crashes as bicyclists are.

Very few bicyclist crashes involve motor vehicles. Falls account for
59%, running into a fixed object 14%, moving motor vehicles in 11%, and
another bicycle is 9%.

Don't bike after dark if you can avoid it. 39% bicyclist fatalities
occur between 6:00 PM & midnight.

Choose streets with bikelanes. They are between 38-56% safer than major
or minor streets without them. They are also safer in terms of crashes
than paved off-road trails that in turn are safer than unpaved trails and
sidewalks.

Avoid streets with fast-moving traffic. 80% of bicyclist fatalities
occur at crash speeds above 30 MPH. There are more bike-car crashes at
intersections, but more fatalities occur between them where motorists
speed.

Don't drink and bike (or drive). In fatal bike/car collisions, 9%
motorists and 11% bicyclists had been drinking.

A study from Washington state says that 6% of bike/car crashes involved
the motorist hitting the bicyclist from behind. A national database says
that 9% bike/car crashes involved a motorist overtaking a bicyclist. Of
those, in 1.3% the motorist failed to detect the bicyclist -- the case of
Jake Boysel.

In terms of bicycling versus other activities, the number of emergency
room visits for bicyclists are considerably lower per hour of activity
than for soccer, basketball, squash & football.

I do have data on bicyclist fatalities in Santa Barbara County since
1990. 12 out of the 25 did NOT involve motor vehicles (3 were bike/bike
collisions). Of the 13 motor vehicle crashes, 6 did involve being hit
from behind. While these small numbers are not statistically reliable,
it does suggest that being hit from behind is a serious cause of
fatalities -- nearly the 50% quoted at the town meeting.

http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm
http://www.zzapp.org/rileygea/itsa/bkfat.htm
http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/almanac-safety.html
http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/matrix/list.cfm
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Old 09-15-06, 08:17 AM   #2
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Choose streets with bikelanes. They are between 38-56% safer than major or minor streets without them. They are also safer in terms of crashes than paved off-road trails that in turn are safer than unpaved trails and sidewalks.

Avoid streets with fast-moving traffic. 80% of bicyclist fatalities occur at crash speeds above 30 MPH. There are more bike-car crashes at intersections, but more fatalities occur between them where motorists speed.
I find these the most interesting, I wonder how these were "proven."
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Old 09-15-06, 08:38 AM   #3
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I know of no streets anywhere in the city of Toronto where traffic does not exceed 30mph (~50kph) on a regular basis.

Cars often go faster than that in parking lots and driveways.
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Old 09-15-06, 08:42 AM   #4
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I don't usually read or try to understand statistics anymore. Used in just the right way you could make any statistic say whatever you want.
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Old 09-15-06, 09:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Don't bike after dark if you can avoid it. 39% bicyclist fatalities
occur between 6:00 PM & midnight.
I just pulled this out as one of the statistics that is meaningless without further information.

How many of these accidents were after dusk?

How many at sunset (with sun in drivers eyes)?

What percentage of total cycling time is between these hours? Frankly if 35% of cycling is done during this time of day the statistics say that it is only marginally less safe than any other time of day.

Each of the statistics need similar supporting information before drawing conclusions...

And don't even get me started with 38-56% safer.
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Old 09-15-06, 09:29 AM   #6
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Don't bike after dark if you can avoid it. 39% bicyclist fatalities occur between 6:00 PM & midnight.
Furthermore, how many of these were cyclists without lights?
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Old 09-15-06, 09:32 AM   #7
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Well Diane, lots of interesting data, but there appears to be some gaps that folks are wondering about. I have not chased the links to see what they reveal.
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Old 09-15-06, 10:28 AM   #8
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After dark there are a lot of variables, all of which combined would make it safer overall not to ride after dark. For example, it is simply harder to see period after dark. Lights or no lights, it's just harder to see. More people are drinking after dark, too.
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Old 09-15-06, 10:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Don't bike after dark if you can avoid it. 39% bicyclist fatalities
occur between 6:00 PM & midnight.
This statistics shows that riding after dark is safer. I'd conclude that 61% of fatalities happens when it is not dark.
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