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  1. #1
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Well, so much for that "irrational fear cyclists have of come from behind collisions"


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    No dispute, nor surprise at the overall statistics. But I'm curious about how it would play out if only high density urban riding were factored.
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  3. #3
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Don't misinterpret the data.

    Rear-end collisions are rarest type of bicycle/auto accident (3.8% of collisions).

    The 40% is referring to the percentage of fatality collisions.

    You are far more likely to collide with a car at an intersection. In the rare event that you are rear-ended, the mortality rate is higher.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  4. #4
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    Don't misinterpret the data.

    Rear-end collisions are rarest type of bicycle/auto accident (3.8% of collisions).

    The 40% is referring to the percentage of fatality collisions.

    You are far more likely to collide with a car at an intersection. In the rare event that you are rear-ended, the mortality rate is higher.
    Ah, I see. So only those of us actually concerned about getting killed on our bikes should worry about a rear end collision. That's cool.

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    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Ah, I see. So only those of us actually concerned about getting killed on our bikes should worry about a rear end collision. That's cool.
    Do you worry about dying of typhoid? Your odds of getting struck from behind are about the same.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  6. #6
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    Do you worry about dying of typhoid? Your odds of getting struck from behind are about the same.
    Your 3.8% figure is based on some pretty interesting statistical manipulations that significantly reduce the "odds" of a rear end collision. The overall figures include categories like the "weird", the "unexplained", "assaults", "bicyclist losing control" perhaps "suffering from typhus or fears thereof" is included in that mumbo jumbo.

    Odd that in my life I've had three close friends killed in separate cycling accidents (2 hit from behind and the other the driver crossed the lane and hit them head on) and know not a soul who has died of typhus. Maybe if I did I might have more fear of the disease. Maybe I need to broaden my horizons, get to know fewer cyclists and more gals named Mary. Is there a typhus forum.net? I'll check it out.

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    I'm no VCer but the counterpoint here makes sense to me:

    Joining the Chorus of Ignorance - i am traffic

    I also trust FARS data far more than the amalgamation of media reports used by the LAB.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    I'm no VCer but the counterpoint here makes sense to me:

    Joining the Chorus of Ignorance - i am traffic

    I also trust FARS data far more than the amalgamation of media reports used by the LAB.
    Seems to me they differ far less in what the data is (whether 'hit from behind' fatalities is 40% or 27% doesn't strike me as critical - either is a substantial percentage), as in the interpretation of what could alleviate the problem.

    The Bicycling!/LAB view seems to be that bike lanes and especially protected cycle tracks would make a big difference in these cases. I think you need a much more detailed look at what actually happened in the crashes before drawing that conclusion. The three most recent local cyclist fatalities where I know the details were all 'hit from behind' but I doubt that any reasonable lane or cycle track would have made a difference. They involved motorists who had totally lost control of their vehicles. In addition to hitting and killing the cyclists, their vehicles also ran over curbs, took out fire hydrants, light poles, assorted street signs, and, in one case, demolished most of a business storefront.

    Furthermore one needs to examine what types of collision might be increased in danger by having cycle tracks. Right- and left-hooks are already a serious problem and if cyclists are less visible to motorists planning to turn as a result of being separated on a cycle track then it might well increase both the number and severity of such collisions.

  9. #9
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Every fatal accident that's happened around where I live since I've been here (20 years) has been a from-behind collision. Usually distracted drivers texting or screwing with their phones in some way.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  10. #10
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Why is it controversial? Fatalities are more likely from collisions with high speed vehicles. We have greater exposure to high speed vehicles from behind than from in front or from the sides. Therefore more fatalities can be expected from collisions from the rear. It's no surprise.

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    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    It's controversial because it makes riding on the street seem more dangerous than it is.

    The study doesn't account for any non-fatal accidents. It is based entirely on news reports and blogs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    It's controversial because it makes riding on the street seem more dangerous than it is.

    The study doesn't account for any non-fatal accidents. It is based entirely on news reports and blogs.
    It's really more a collection of data for advocacy purposes than a study in any scientific sense of the term.

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    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    I believe the intent of the study was to promote bike lanes, especially protected bike lanes. However, by publishing it the way they did, with the wording they used, it is liable to scare people away from commuting and transportation cycling.

    I have nothing against bike lanes, but I do recognize the value of VC, (somewhat necessary due to lack of bike lanes in Dallas).
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    It's controversial because it makes riding on the street seem more dangerous than it is.

    The study doesn't account for any non-fatal accidents. It is based entirely on news reports and blogs.
    I'm sorry but I have to take issue with this constant drumbeat of "maKing riding on the street seem more dangerous than it is."

    They are simply taking the means by which most cyclist/auto fatalities occur and advocating for solutions. Just because they don't include every knuckle scrape cyclists have while getting their bike out of the garage in order to gild the lily of cycling safety is way beside the point. It's about reducing fatalities.

    In the grand scheme of things yeah, maybe 700 cyclist deaths per year (that's roughly 2 of us a day) in the US doesn't seem like much to some people. Personally, I find it unacceptable and, in fact, as safe as cycling may be be it is way more dangerous than it needs to be in the US. Something needs to get done but nothing will get done if we can't even agree that it is a problem and that it needs to be addressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I'm sorry but I have to take issue with this constant drumbeat of "maKing riding on the street seem more dangerous than it is."

    They are simply taking the means by which most cyclist/auto fatalities occur and advocating for solutions. Just because they don't include every knuckle scrape cyclists have while getting their bike out of the garage in order to gild the lily of cycling safety is way beside the point. It's about reducing fatalities.

    In the grand scheme of things yeah, maybe 700 cyclist deaths per year (that's roughly 2 of us a day) in the US doesn't seem like much to some people. Personally, I find it unacceptable and, in fact, as safe as cycling may be be it is way more dangerous than it needs to be in the US. Something needs to get done but nothing will get done if we can't even agree that it is a problem and that it needs to be addressed.
    I would be more concerned about those 700 if I didn't suspect that most of them were two-thirds drunk/ninja/salmon.

    I also have my doubts about LAB's agenda. From their "bike friendly" criteria, it looks like they are more concerned with advocating for segregation than with safety.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post

    They are simply taking the means by which most cyclist/auto fatalities occur and advocating for solutions. .
    I spend most of my time in the mechanic forum, rather than here, but there's a parallel here.

    When trying to solve a problem, it's important that the solution is directly responsive to the actual problem. This is equally true for infrastructure problems as it is for bicycle repair.

    Aggregate data combining urban and rural riding may mask the fact that different conditions breed different types of accidents. It's very possible that a large percentage of "from the back" accidents happen on open roads while more intersection accidents happen in cities (not saying this is a fact, just a realistic possibility).

    Then, if based on this misleading (possibly) data, we apply a solution more suited to the open road in an urban setting, we may not get the benefit we're hoping for. As a matter of fact, if that solution solves a highway problem at the expensive of worsening city problems, then not only won't we see benefits, we might actually make things worse.

    Reducing accidental death and injury, is a laudable goal, but we have to try by using solutions that address the causes of injury where and how they happen. These will be different on open roads than in cities.
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    Senior Member mr_pedro's Avatar
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    Yes it is an irrational fear. Especially if you consider that the risk of an American cyclist dying while on a bicycle is as big as a random 21 year old American dying. That means the risk of dying on a bike is right on par with ... the risk of dying while being alive.

    To put another thing in perspective, the health benefits from cycling take a serious chunk out of the bike fatality number. This means that although there is a risk from cycling relative to doing nothing, a big part of that risk is already offset by the fact that cyclists die less from other stuff.

  18. #18
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    I'm no VCer but the counterpoint here makes sense to me:

    Joining the Chorus of Ignorance - i am traffic

    I also trust FARS data far more than the amalgamation of media reports used by the LAB.
    Except when you examine the quote provided from the Cross Study... which essentially says "you are not worth it."

    “Except for accidents that resulted from the motor vehicle being out of control, it seems reasonable to assume that most Class D accidents would not have occurred if an on-street bicycle lane had been present and the bicyclist had been riding in it. However, the problem in recommending on-street bicycle lanes as a countermeasure stems from the cost-effectiveness of this approach. First, consider that 46% of the fatal and 44% of the non-fatal overtaking accidents occurred in a rural area where bicycle traffic tends to be low and where it would be necessary to widen the paved area in order to accommodate an on-street bicycle lane.”

  19. #19
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I'm sorry but I have to take issue with this constant drumbeat of "maKing riding on the street seem more dangerous than it is."

    They are simply taking the means by which most cyclist/auto fatalities occur and advocating for solutions. Just because they don't include every knuckle scrape cyclists have while getting their bike out of the garage in order to gild the lily of cycling safety is way beside the point. It's about reducing fatalities.

    In the grand scheme of things yeah, maybe 700 cyclist deaths per year (that's roughly 2 of us a day) in the US doesn't seem like much to some people. Personally, I find it unacceptable and, in fact, as safe as cycling may be be it is way more dangerous than it needs to be in the US. Something needs to get done but nothing will get done if we can't even agree that it is a problem and that it needs to be addressed.
    There is a huge range of injuries that are not fatal, but are considerably more significant than a knuckle-scrape. The fact that most bicycle/car accidents are not fatal means they are ignoring most of the data that would indicate trends about what is "dangerous" and what isn't.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Except when you examine the quote provided from the Cross Study... which essentially says "you are not worth it."
    Lets not support bike infrastructure because there are rural area? Nonsense. That being said that particular comment was embedded in a quote that was being cited in a different context..

    Still...the take down of LAB survey methodology is pretty damning. I also did not realize that FARS overtaking data includes many accident scenarios that would not be viewed as overtaking by most cyclists.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I would be more concerned about those 700 if I didn't suspect that most of them were two-thirds drunk/ninja/salmon.
    Speaking of which...I hung out too late at a vegan bar and while ninjaing home I started showing off my "skilz" and promptly smacked my helmetless head into the pavement. There was some blood and I got a wee concussion. My date now requires me to wear a helmet when biking with her...
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  22. #22
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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  23. #23
    Senior Member italktocats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I would be more concerned about those 700 if I didn't suspect that most of them were two-thirds drunk/ninja/salmon..
    oh wow

  24. #24
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Lets not support bike infrastructure because there are rural area? Nonsense. That being said that particular comment was embedded in a quote that was being cited in a different context..

    Still...the take down of LAB survey methodology is pretty damning. I also did not realize that FARS overtaking data includes many accident scenarios that would not be viewed as overtaking by most cyclists.
    Just what is "overtaking" if not nearly any situation when the cyclist, maintaining a steady position on the roadway, is taken down by a motorist from behind... be it directly or in a sideswipe situation.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Just what is "overtaking" if not nearly any situation when the cyclist, maintaining a steady position on the roadway, is taken down by a motorist from behind... be it directly or in a sideswipe situation.
    Many cycling fatalities in Portland occurred in bike lanes (which is not at all surprising given how common they are). It never occurred to me that being hit from behind *in a bike lane* would be classified as "overtaking".
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 08-12-14 at 04:29 PM.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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