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Old 06-13-14, 02:12 PM   #1
Smallwheels
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Terrifying Facts About Bicycling Video

Look at this two minute video posted on Yahoo. It makes cycling seem really bad. Though it does say cycling could save Americans $7 billion per year. It also shows the main causes of death for cyclists.

https://screen.yahoo.com/buzzfeed/te...003944963.html
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Old 06-13-14, 02:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
Look at this two minute video posted on Yahoo. It makes cycling seem really bad. Though it does say cycling could save Americans $7 billion per year. It also shows the main causes of death for cyclists.

https://screen.yahoo.com/buzzfeed/te...003944963.html
I don't think their intention was to make cycling look bad. I think they were trying to raise awareness that we should have better infrastructure, and also that car drivers should be more aware of bikes. I thought the video lacked focus and clarity. But I guess it's part of the bicycle education effort that people hope will improve our conditions.
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Old 06-13-14, 02:39 PM   #3
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I thought the video lacked focus and clarity.
Agreed. Not clear what the point of the video was. At the end it appeared to be in favor of more bicycling, but emphasizing the potential danger seems like a strange way to promote that. I don't see any car ads that stress that almost 30000 people are killed in motor vehicle crashes each year.
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Old 06-13-14, 03:29 PM   #4
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I don't think that this video advances the discussion; it simply throws out random facts and offers no real answers.

For example, why do drivers drive, on the average, 3" closer to cyclists who wear helmets (I think I know the answer). How close do they drive to cyclists who don't wear helmets? And if a cyclist is hit by a passing car, who is more likely to sustain less life-threatening injuries, the helmeted rider or the non-helmeted rider?

These questions, and more, were left unanswered by the video.
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Old 06-13-14, 03:32 PM   #5
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Agreed. Not clear what the point of the video was. At the end it appeared to be in favor of more bicycling, but emphasizing the potential danger seems like a strange way to promote that. I don't see any car ads that stress that almost 30000 people are killed in motor vehicle crashes each year.
I do see ads about driving safely, and ads saying that better roads are needed for cars. This video seemed to be combining those two messages, only for bikes instead of cars.
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Old 06-13-14, 04:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
Look at this two minute video posted on Yahoo. It makes cycling seem really bad. Though it does say cycling could save Americans $7 billion per year. It also shows the main causes of death for cyclists.

https://screen.yahoo.com/buzzfeed/te...003944963.html
I liked the video. Thanks for posting it.

I think cycling is dangerous and could be much safer if there were more more protected bike lanes.
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Old 06-13-14, 06:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
Look at this two minute video posted on Yahoo. It makes cycling seem really bad. Though it does say cycling could save Americans $7 billion per year. It also shows the main causes of death for cyclists.

https://screen.yahoo.com/buzzfeed/te...003944963.html
Goood post.

Most of the cyclist that are getting killed are in their 40's and 30's which surprised me. I guess people in this age group are discovering bicycling for the first time and are taking alot of risks doing so at rush hour. It's not the kids who are riding in rush hour traffic but adults.
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Old 06-13-14, 06:31 PM   #8
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For example, why do drivers drive, on the average, 3" closer to cyclists who wear helmets (I think I know the answer).
The motorist probably assume the helmeted cyclist is more "professional" and will hold a straight line compared to one without a helmet. I remember the man who did this study alarmed the cycling community but he was right. Maybe we should wear helmets that look like hats.
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Old 06-13-14, 07:02 PM   #9
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The motorist probably assume the helmeted cyclist is more "professional" and will hold a straight line compared to one without a helmet. I remember the man who did this study alarmed the cycling community but he was right. Maybe we should wear helmets that look like hats.
Maybe drivers don't drive closer to helmeted cyclists. Maybe helmeted cyclists ride closer to cars.
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Old 06-13-14, 07:31 PM   #10
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Maybe drivers don't drive closer to helmeted cyclists. Maybe helmeted cyclists ride closer to cars.
The study was one man who used electronic equiptment that was able to determine the distance between passing cars. Much to his surprise, the helmet changed the behavior of the average motorist to pass at closer distances. We don't know if he was doing this on purpose and actually getting closer to the cars for the sake of creating a helmet controversy. I would like to see someone else duplicate the study.
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Old 06-13-14, 07:55 PM   #11
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Old 06-13-14, 09:36 PM   #12
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The video seems to have been made for a viewership with the attention span of a sand fly, but that's OK. However it tosses out facts as if they mean something when they may not.

For example, the fact that 69% of cycling deaths are in urban areas might lead one to believe that that's where the dangers are. However 79% of the US population is in urban areas, so forgetting for the moment whether urban or rural folks are more likely to ride, urban areas might actually be safer.

Similar issues with the analysis by age. It might simply signify a climb in the age of the cycling population, as long time riders age, and fewer young folks pick it up.

Facts without background are meaningless, and it's not good to try to draw conclusions from them.
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Old 06-14-14, 07:15 AM   #13
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Old 06-14-14, 07:30 AM   #14
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The video seems to have been made for a viewership with the attention span of a sand fly......
I posted a bicycle safety video, some months back, that was more in depth and slower paced, but it was ridiculed by a number of BF members as boring and dull. Working with younger intellectuals and watching their operating speed at work, the video in the OP link is probably agonizingly slow for them.
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Old 06-14-14, 09:23 AM   #15
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Good concept, poor selection of facts, bad order of presentation, could have been shorter.
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Old 06-14-14, 10:47 AM   #16
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I spotted several false correlations.

First, the increasing median age "suggests" you are more at risk if you were born in a certain decade. May it also be true that the median age of cyclists has also been increasing?

Second. People wearing helmets are more likely to be hit by cars. Are the helmets"car magnets" as the video suggests, or are people who ride many miles in traffic more likely to be wearing helmets? (that 3.3" figure sets off my skeptic alarm big time)

No mention of salmoning or sidewalk riding.

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Old 06-14-14, 10:54 AM   #17
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Look at this two minute video posted on Yahoo. It makes cycling seem really bad.
You are right this is a good video if the point was to make cycling look like a terrifying activity.

This hyperbolic video, consisting of random Danger,Danger! factoids with dingy editorial content (Helmet guano), and picked out of the air $ savings for its proposed unrelated solutions is the most backassward alleged bicycle safety/advocacy presentation I've ever seen.
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Old 06-14-14, 11:19 AM   #18
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I spotted several false correlations....
Yes, this is rife with meaningless data, and improperly drawn conclusions.

The USA these days is a numbers driven, data hungry society. Unfortunately the math and logic skills haven't kept up, so we're pounded with data, and false assumptions about the significance.

Forgetting for the moment, that supposed average of 3" closer is very small compared with passing distances, (and the dubious source) we have the reality that it might not make a functional difference. If most of the reduction is at the high end of the range (which is likely), then the actual close passing distance at the low end may be the same or very close. I don't care if a car passes at 5' vs. 6', but I might care if it passes at 2' vs. 3', or really care if it passes at 0' vs 1'.

As Twain wrote, there are.....lies, damned lies and statistics.

Unfortunately, the kind of nonsense data used in the video often takes on a life of it's own, and becomes commonly accepted as accurate and meaningful.
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Old 06-14-14, 12:06 PM   #19
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I liked the video. Thanks for posting it.

I think cycling is dangerous and could be much safer if there were more more protected bike lanes.
Being born is dangerous, since no one is going to get out of this life alive. Do you think cycling is significantly more dangerous than other normal day-to-day activities? Per hour, the risks are similar to driving. Do you think driving is dangerous? How about showering? Should we have protected showers too?

While there are certainly risks involved with cycling, it has been well documented that public health improves and mortality goes down when people cycle. All these fearful people proclaiming the dangers of cycling, while ignoring comparable dangers in other activities (and even greater dangers in inactivity) are damaging our public health by discouraging people from riding. These unfounded fears, when expressed and (in)acted on, also increase the risk to current riders by subtracting from our potential safety in numbers.
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Old 06-14-14, 12:12 PM   #20
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Being born is dangerous, since no one is going to get out of this life alive. Do you think cycling is significantly more dangerous than other normal day-to-day activities? Per hour, the risks are similar to driving. Do you think driving is dangerous? How about showering? Should we have protected showers too?

While there are certainly risks involved with cycling, it has been well documented that public health improves and mortality goes down when people cycle. All these fearful people proclaiming the dangers of cycling, while ignoring comparable dangers in other activities (and even greater dangers in inactivity) are damaging our public health by discouraging people from riding. These unfounded fears, when expressed and (in)acted on, also increase the risk to current riders by subtracting from our potential safety in numbers.
Let's make cycling safer by getting more people on bikes. It's not a matter of ignoring other dangerous activities, like the ones you mention, but the focus of this forum is cycling, so let's stick with that. Protected bike lanes, lower speed limits and safer streets will make cycling safer and get more people out of their cars and their armchairs and onto their bikes. Let's do it!
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Old 06-14-14, 12:16 PM   #21
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Being born is dangerous, since no one is going to get out of this life alive. Do you think cycling is significantly more dangerous than other normal day-to-day activities? Per hour, the risks are similar to driving. Do you think driving is dangerous? How about showering? Should we have protected showers too?
....These unfounded fears, when expressed and (in)acted on, also increase the risk to current riders by subtracting from our potential safety in numbers.
+1,

While just about anything might be made safer one way or another, I hate that so many start from the false premise that bicycling is dangerous. In the scheme of day to day life, bicycling ranks among the safer activities, not the dangerous ones.
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Old 06-14-14, 01:38 PM   #22
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Would have really liked this video a lot more had it contained more solutions to the problems. How about asking driver's to pay more attention? To follow the rules of the road? To beef up enforcement of traffic laws? Instead it offers up only the Protected Bike Lane solution, which is almost akin to saying "Hey, let's just get cyclists off the road and be done with it." I'm not opposed to protected bike lanes per se, but come on, that can't be the only solution to improving cyclist safety.
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Old 06-14-14, 01:48 PM   #23
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I liked the video. Thanks for posting it.

I think cycling is dangerous and could be much safer if there were more more protected bike lanes.
I read this argument ("cycling is dangerous") pretty frequently. when I ask why, the answer is, usually, "You might be hit by a car/truck/pickup, etc.

But being hit by a car, etc., isn't cycling, so, unless the cycling is done in a dangerous/risky manner, it's being hit by... etc. which is dangerous. In other words, the analysis is wrong, which, in turn, leads to wrong solutions. Note, I'm not saying that installing protected bike lanes won't help, because it may do, but only if they're properly designed and constructed and there is a comprehensive network of them.

In the meantime, the solution for us, as individuals, is to learn what it is that drivers do which leads to collisions and recognise the symptoms while riding and ride in a way which makes them less likely to harm us. It will never remove the risk from their behaviour, but it will reduce it.
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Old 06-14-14, 02:25 PM   #24
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I read this argument ("cycling is dangerous") pretty frequently. when I ask why, the answer is, usually, "You might be hit by a car/truck/pickup, etc.

But being hit by a car, etc., isn't cycling, so, unless the cycling is done in a dangerous/risky manner, it's being hit by... etc. which is dangerous. In other words, the analysis is wrong, which, in turn, leads to wrong solutions. Note, I'm not saying that installing protected bike lanes won't help, because it may do, but only if they're properly designed and constructed and there is a comprehensive network of them.

In the meantime, the solution for us, as individuals, is to learn what it is that drivers do which leads to collisions and recognise the symptoms while riding and ride in a way which makes them less likely to harm us. It will never remove the risk from their behaviour, but it will reduce it.
Here's a comparison by a Dutchman of cycling in the Netherlands and the U.S. I think most of what he says about cycling in the U.S. is also applicable to the U.K.


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Old 06-14-14, 02:58 PM   #25
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I read this argument ("cycling is dangerous") pretty frequently.
From the video I posted: "You are 30 times more likely to get injured as a cyclist in the U.S. than you are in the Netherlands."

I imagine a similar comparison could be made between the Netherlands and a car-centric country like the U.K.
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