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View Poll Results: Do you believe every cyclist will get hit by a car eventually?

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  • Yes.

    27 32.53%
  • No.

    56 67.47%
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  1. #1
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    I read in a magazine a few weeks ago, that are two groups of cyclists, the ones that were hit by a car and the others that will be hit by a car.
    This was posted on another area of the forum. Who believes this?

    To further clarify the poll question the question is....If every cyclist that has never been hit continued to ride for the rest of his/her life, would they eventually get hit? Obviously there are variables but the poll addresses the notion that every cyclist will get hit someday if they ride long enough.
    Last edited by Portis; 04-05-04 at 11:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Now with racer-boy font! Moonshot's Avatar
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    Based on the wording of the poll I voted no.

    I'd guess about 40 - 50% of all cyclists will be hit by a car eventually. Of these I'd guess 20% will be hit hard enough to knock them to the ground. Just my .02.

  3. #3
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    I have been hit, but i know that there are riders who do not ride on roads(avid mountain bikers). Scared me more than anything else, but I was coming down a road past a parking lot and a lady was being an idiot on her cell phone, didn't look and just went. Slammed me with the front of her car, I went flying, bike was run over, but not damaged.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Stubacca's Avatar
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    The wording makes me vote 'no'.

    I would highly doubt that 40-50% of all people who ride bikes will eventually be hit by a car. A reasonable proportion of those who ride on the footpaths might be...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyah
    The wording makes me vote 'no'.

    I would highly doubt that 40-50% of all people who ride bikes will eventually be hit by a car. A reasonable proportion of those who ride on the footpaths might be...
    I haven't seen a whole lot of cars on the footpaths I travel. Generally only a service vehicle or a police patrol. They are always extremely careful of path users.
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  6. #6
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    No vote for me too. I've been hit and one of my friends has been hit (his fault) but I don't think Everyone will be. In fact I know more riders that were not hit than were. And of course this doent include those riders that chose to ride off the road to avoid getting hit

  7. #7
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    Hit by a 11 year old girl coming down her driveway,full blast,not looking right into the street and into my rear wheel. Her dad said she's done this before and i should pay half the cost to fix because i was most likly not watching where i was going or i would have gotten out of the way.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Stubacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I haven't seen a whole lot of cars on the footpaths I travel. Generally only a service vehicle or a police patrol. They are always extremely careful of path users.
    My point wasn't really about cars actually on the footpaths. More that drivers don't tend to be watching for cyclists on footpaths when coming out of driveways and intersections, thus increasing the chances of the cyclist being hit.

  9. #9
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    I haven't been hit by a car. I ran into a parked car once. I was young (about 25) and alcohol was involved. If I believed that I would be hit eventually, I would stop cycling. That would mean that I never got hit by a car. (Does that make any sense? I don't think so.)
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  10. #10
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    Speaking as someone who's been hit 3 times in 20 years, you might think I'd answer yes. Unfortunately, you'd have to be in a very, very, very, small demographic to fit into my model.

    Thus, I would want to read the article and see what the author cites as his data and the basis of his analysis before passing judgement on his theory / claim.

    My purely skeptical side suggests, he's merely taken an old motorcyclists adage that goes, there are two types of motorcycle riders: Those who've gone down and those who will go down. In more recent years, a lot of bicyclists who ride off-road or who race on the road have adopted the same credo, i.e., if you ride long enough and hard enough you will eventually go down. It is a reach to extrapolate this into the likelihood of being hit by a car.

    Therefore, the first question regarding the claim would be to narrow down the population. Is it the purported 99 million cyclists that USA Cycling mentions on its Web site, the 42 million cyclists that Bicycle references in it's data, or only the 24.6 million adult cyclists (including some 5.5 million off-road riders)? Or, is it the 4.2 million "core enthusiasts", a number that has purportedly grown from a mere 870,000 in 1990 to some 3.7 million in 2000, and then to the current 4.2? Or, perhaps it's the folks who buy what Bicycling claims to be 405,000 issues a year? How about the League of American Bicyclist's 40,000 members which, according to insiders, is really more like 20,000 with a factor applied for "family" memberships that raises it to 40k. Anyway, you get my point...

    Another way to look at it is via fatalities. From 1994 - 2002, some 6,815 cyclists were killed by motorists. While that's a horrible statistic, consider if you will that some 46,482 pedestrians were killed during that same period of time. Now, as bad as that is, consider that in that same period of time some 322,306 motorists and passengers were killed?

    So, if you look at the numbers, if you accept the 42 million cyclists, you are more likely to be killed riding a bicycle than you are as a driver or passenger in a motor car. However, if you use the 99 million figure cited by USA Cycling, your 1/2 as likely to be killed riding a bicycle than you are riding in a car.

    Bottom Line: What's the data behind the claim? Without it, it's a meaningless statement and any accompanying message or conclusions should be highly suspect until such time as the data can be looked at objectively.

  11. #11
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    meh. I'm not worried.
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  12. #12
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    I was hit by a car on March 11th. But I certianly don't think it is an eventuality for every rider. If I did, my kids and wife would never be allowed to get on a bike!
    Last edited by N7CZinMT; 04-05-04 at 01:44 PM.

  13. #13
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    You're asking me to predict the future? I don't even know what I'm having for dinner tonight.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  14. #14
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    I've never been hit, but i've had a few close calls. Despite requests, no one calls me lucky.
    -car free since early march.

  15. #15
    Lady Jane
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    I have been run off the ride by a car before, but never hit. I have had a young cyclist run into MY car though! Luckily, he was not hurt!

  16. #16
    Cycling is Self-Therapy pdxcyclist's Avatar
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    I was hit by a cyclist once. My mistake-- stepped off the curb without looking in Eugene, Oregon. No harm to me, cyclist or bike, thankfully. Guy was really nice about the whole thing.

    I ride with a lot of traffic. Every day is a chance to get hit. In the past several hundred rides, though, I don't recall a close call. It is worth learning how to ride defensively, never trust turn signals, always expect the car pulling out may not see you, swallow your pride and wear a helmet mirror, turn on on the tail-light and use the headlight as much as possible. Finally, don't forget that people get seriously hurt all the time when hit by cars-- while driving cars.
    Last edited by pdxcyclist; 04-05-04 at 10:03 PM.

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  17. #17
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    By the wording I voted "no" ,though I have been hit twice by cars & side swipped by the 'vercene' overhang of a truck trailer on a roundabout ! But I do think that every one who cycles average to + distance in all weathers will eventualy have a crash of some kind though hopefully not with a car or truck ! eg: ice , wet leaves ect on the road ,even being unable to unclip fast enough in an emergancy.
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  18. #18
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    I voted no. Even though I have been hit by a car. It was partially my fault, did something stupid.

    But I do not think that every cyclist will eventually be hit by a car.

  19. #19
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    I've been hit twice and I voted no. However, after reading some responses I'm reconsidering my vote. All considered, the cyclists to accident ratio in this thread is about 1:1 currently.

  20. #20
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    I voted yes, mainly for the same point that Moonshot made. While Mark points out that the statistics can be rather indefinite, the bottom line is, statistics or no, too many bicyclists who I know have been hit. Take this forum, the typical participant is a serious biker who is therefore probably safer than the average biker, yet the crash rate of our members is shocking. In the few years that I have been here, amost every road rider has reported at least one hit. I know we like to throw out numbers that suggest it is safe, but take a roll call around here. The counts are just too high to be able to say it is safe.

    That said, I rode today, and I'll ride tomorrow. I love it too much to quit, but the accident rate does concern me. I believe a rider can do a lot to avoid accidents through constant awareness. Its worked for me for 30 hit free years, but through the close calls that I have had and the reports that I hear from others, I can't keep but wondering if my time is coming too.
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  21. #21
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I haven't seen a whole lot of cars on the footpaths I travel. Generally only a service vehicle or a police patrol. They are always extremely careful of path users.
    I have.

    However, what I haven't seen is a footpath that stretches uninterrupted from point A to point B, with no road crossings, when the two are more than 150 metres apart.
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  22. #22
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I've been hit five times. I copped four in two years in 1997/99 -- the worst I ever had was a broken spoke. However, I don't think it will happen to everyone. I have noticed that the likelihood of being hit by a car decreases dramatically everytime I leave the urban area of the Gold Coast (and yes, that includes riding in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and everywhere else I've been).
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  23. #23
    Cycling is Self-Therapy pdxcyclist's Avatar
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    Years ago I read a bike commuting article with some good advice: on your commute, you're mostly surrounded by car drivers who are also on their commute. The last thing they want to do is screw up their commute by hitting you. Smile at them. Fit in. Stop at lights, etc. You'll likely start noticing the same cars and drivers, same people out at bus stops, and same people walking their dogs, etc. If they smile back, keep it up. All in all, even if they don't know your name, they're going to help out if you get in trouble. They'll also begin to expect you and be more aware of you and perhaps even other cyclists.

    I think I internalized this advice, because I now realize that I see a lot of the same people each day on my commute, and we normally nod or smile and acknowlege each other.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    I have.

    However, what I haven't seen is a footpath that stretches uninterrupted from point A to point B, with no road crossings, when the two are more than 150 metres apart.
    I went from point A to point B and back today for a 17 mile ride and didn't cross one road. I could have gone another 40 miles one way with crossing just one road.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by blwyn
    While Mark points out that the statistics can be rather indefinite, the bottom line is, statistics or no, too many bicyclists who I know have been hit. Take this forum, the typical participant is a serious biker who is therefore probably safer than the average biker, yet the crash rate of our members is shocking. In the few years that I have been here, amost every road rider has reported at least one hit. I know we like to throw out numbers that suggest it is safe, but take a roll call around here. The counts are just too high to be able to say it is safe.
    My point exactly; what is the population being referred to in the article and how might it be skewed? Among cyclists who log 5-10k miles a year on public roads, the probability of an encounter with a car is indeed far greater than for a cyclist who rides on a bike path or who sticks to rural roads for social and/or recreational charity rides. Thus, the amount of riding, where you ride, when you ride, and even what you ride may play into the data... much the same as it does for motor vehicle accidents.

    Thus, the real question becomes, "Is riding a bicycle any less safe than walking or operating a motor vehicle?" Given the number of people killed each year engaged in all three activities, it's fair to suggest that there is a degree of risk involved in all three activities. As to why the members of this list seem to have a high incident of crashes may have more to do with the nature of discussion lists. Consider if you will, there are over 10,000 members of this list; have 5,000 reported being hit by cars? Or, is it a much smaller number which will invariably graviate towards discussion threads like this one and creates a feeling that a lot more members of the forum have had vehicle encounters than the actual percentage might indicate?

    Again, I would just urge folks to get a firm grasp on the data used to support articles, claims, statistics, etc... before putting too much stock in them. Junk science and statistically invalid but "sensational" stories abound in our world today, much of it due to the internet and the lack of due diligence applied to information posted to it.

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