I knew two people before they were killed by being struck from behind. Both were struck by utility trucks that had something hanging off of the side of the truck far enough to hit them as the truck passed.
Culture of fear - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The data is clear, the decrease in heart attacks alone vastly offset the risk of getting killed on a bicycle. Yet people are afraid to ride a bike. There's a line in all the fast "food" places at lunch...
1/3rd of deaths are cardiac related. Doesn't take much of a decrease in that to offset a whole bunch of things.
Many of the cycling related deaths are not cyclists. 1/2 of deaths involve these things, each: drunk rider, riding on sidewalks, riding against traffic... Yes each death may involve overlap. But still, that's a hell of a pattern.
"Mere" injuries are reported far less reliably and consistently.
As for the study itself, this would give a lot more detail on it. Given that they were trying to show that FARS could be improved, they had to get their data from somewhere.
From their report --
Personally, I'm surprised that they didn't get any from police press releases -- our police releases such things every time somebody dies.Our Every Bicyclist Counts dataset is limited to fatalities and depended upon public sources and input. The majority of the information captured by Every Bicyclist Counts came from newspaper reports (56% of all reported sources), TV reports (25%) and blogs (19%).
Through these sources we collected information on 76% of the bicyclist fatalities reported in FARS in 2012. Since the Every Bicyclist Counts dataset is limited to fatalities it does not contain any information on injuries, near-misses, or general exposure to risks.
But ultimately, I don't have any real problems with their methodology. Its not perfect, but this sort of thing never is.
Again, I repeat, I believe that LAB is highlighting come from behind collisions in order to isolate and address one problem at a time. As many of you are pointing out there are a mix of conditions and causes of accidents but separating them out, while challenging, helps us to address and prioritize those areas that we need to fix.
Where the Accidents Happened
Rural 45 165
Urban. 231 237
Source: 2012 NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
Originally Posted by B.Carfree
Besides being one of the more callous statements I've seen in a while on BF, B. Carfree seems to advocate even more of a "do nothing" response to fatal bike accidents. But based on this logic I guess we should not address teen driving accidents or most driving accidents for that matter since they often involve driver impairment or error. Even if bicyclists were puritanical prohibitionists observing all laws we'd still be sharing the road with impaired, flawed drivers and given that they cause a greater proportion of the accidents I still think these fatalities needs to be addressed.
Regarding LAB's "agenda", having been a member of LAB off and on since 1969 (when it was LAW) I feel the most intolerable and unproductive years were when their "agenda" was to serve a subset of bicyclists whose only interest was in preserving "road rights". While I had much in common with these riders, in that I rode almost exclusively on the road, and had, at the time, little interest in bikeways, bike paths or bike lanes I was astounded at the tactics they were willing to employ to shut down and out any other voices. Those voices were particularly the voices of women, many of whom were interested and supportive of separated pathways for cyclists.
There was also, at the time, little or no effort to encourage voices from outside the realm of white males of relative economic privilege who were club riders, hobby riders and occasionally, mostly suburban, commuters.
The LAB of today, by comparison, seems to have an agenda that is more inclusive, is encouraging of voices that are more diversified and yes, that means that the power and the voice of that old subset of cyclists with a more singular focus on "road rights" has been diminished. Frankly, I don't miss it.
But I am curious what it is that causes such paranoid suspicion about LAB's "agenda". What do you take issue with from the following statement made in response to the date presented?
Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, offers five ways to stay safe.
Follow the rules.
Cyclists are rarely culpable in accidents, but it does happen. Avoid collisions by signaling your turns, respecting stop signs, and adhering to rules of the road, Clarke says.
Don't ride against traffic.
In nearly one quarter of the crashes in which a cyclist's behavior was a contributing factor, the rider was on the wrong side of the road. Remain visible by riding with traffic.
Get a rear light.
Clarke points out that cyclists were struck from the rear in 40 percent of the crashes. Make sure you're seen day or night by installing a bright, blinking taillight.
Stay off the sidewalk.
Pedestrians are unpredictable, and motorists have a harder time seeing you when you're crossing an intersection from a sidewalk.
"The accidents you hear about are mostly due to a bizarre set of circumstances," Clarke says. The best way to prevent these is to pay attention and be ready to react quickly.
I guess it still exists when it comes to advocacy today. I prefer advocacy that wants to represent those who cycle for whatever reason, be it economic, legal, hobby, recreation what have you.
To me a cyclist is someone, anyone who is riding a bike.
I remember League members in the 70's who rode exclusively on weekends for club rides and centuries etc, maybe a "Wednesday night ride" too and drove a car to the start of every one of those rides (!), who considered the guys (usually immigrant) who rode beater bikes every day of the week, did not even own a car but didn't do club rides or ride the latest and greatest in bikes, as "non-cyclists" this drove me away from the League at the time and it seems inexcusable in 2014 to be so limited and limiting in what we consider a cyclist and as someone worthy of protecting on the road.
As for me, I am a "cyclist" when I am out riding my bike, when I am driving I am a "driver" and sitting here typing on my computer I am someone who transports themselves primarily but not exclusively by bike but even that only makes me a "cyclist" when I am actually out on my bike.
Last edited by buzzman; 08-12-14 at 09:22 PM.
An identity like "cyclist" is a self description. Very few people who ride bikes such that maximizes risk; ninja, salmons, or on sidewalks identify as "cyclist".
Has nothing to do with elitism...
Even on MUPs, most people riding bikes would not say they are "cyclists" and take exception to being called so.
Most people who self identify as "cyclists" only ride as such as an exception to their usual practice likely trying to adapt to an unusual circumstance.
Self Identified Cyclists? Is that the new name used by those who preciously identified themselves as Real Cyclists, True Cyclists, Competent Cyclists, and/or Serious Cyclists?
This thread has certainly taken an odd turn. But while we're on the subject...
Ideally, LAB represents all cyclists (defined as those who ride, not by how or what they ride). And they are doing a fairly good job of looking at the interests of club/fitness cyclists as well as utilitarian/commuting cyclists.
They are also supported by cycle manufacturers and those manufacturers know that more bicycle infrastructure encourages more cycling and more cycling translates into more sales. In recent decades, this has translated into LAB adopting a philosophy that favors more infrastructure. I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing and I'm basing this on mostly word-of-mouth anecdotes.
Most of the hardcore, anti bike laners have supposedly abandoned LAB in favor of Cycle Savvy.
That's gonna leave a mark.
I am really curious how you "self identify" as a "cyclist" and what parameters you are using to make that claim.
If you don't mind carrying over this conversation to this new thread since it veers us off the topic of "come from behind collisions" and bicyclist fatalities- though maybe there are no real "bicyclist" fatalities involved according to some posters or none/not enough worth getting concerned about.
The death rate in America for typhoid is less than 4%. The percentage of cyclists being struck from behind is less than 4%. Your odds of being struck in an intersection are far higher (~64%) and yet you keep pedaling along, crossing those intersections.
That's gonna leave a mark.
What matters in an identity is not someone else's understanding but each person understanding of themselves.
Many, perhaps most people who ride bikes don't think of themselves as "cyclists", even though they ride bikes. Call them that and you'll likely get an ear full of what they think "cyclists" are like. Down here, it involves a rather negative view of lycra, leg shaving, racing, performance enhancers, a particular attitude, and a big dose of "you're not from around here, are you?".... But they still ride bikes... And they do make up a disproportionate number of fatalities.
A neighborhood kid loves riding, but you'd get an earful if you called him a "cyclist". I can't take him on any rides, but the MUP as he insists on riding against traffic.
Me? I'm many things, but I'm not a "cyclist" either... I do ride bikes a fair number of miles a year.
However, I do not ride on sidewalks. Unless there's no other way, a couple bridges over highways are not in my opinion suitable to taking a lane. There's no way a driver could see you in the lane in time to slow down given the usual and customary speed (well over speed limit). The sight lines are just too short for those speeds, yet those are the speeds.
But then, I'm not advocating anything for anybody. Just recognition of the reality that certain behaviors have an extreme risk. Given the numbers of people who ride bikes and do those things, they skew the overall data enough to make the data not applicable to those that don't.
And that the numbers are such that even if you did the high risk behaviors in the same proportion as people who ride bikes. Your overall risk of death is reduced given the offset of the most common way to die, cardiac issues. Think driving across country to flying. Some people do die in airplanes, but it is very few per trip/mile. So if fly instead of drive, there is a extremely small risk of dying in the plane, but it is ever so much less the dying in a car had you drove.
Mirrors are a good thing. Allows me to be more aware of what's coming at me, and at times the need to get off the road. Freddly? perhaps... But don't really care...
Last edited by Null66; 08-13-14 at 09:01 AM.
I can't help but wonder if people driving cars consider themselves "motorists."