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Old 07-20-10, 09:43 AM
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Crash rates are several times higher for cyclists traveling contra-flow than for cyclists traveling in the same direction as other traffic. This is true even for cyclists on sidewalks - turning drivers aren't looking for them.

Interestingly, crash rates are also higher for pedestrians walking contra-flow compared to those walking with the flow of vehicular traffic, at least in urban areas. Drivers are more likely to see them if they are coming from the same direction that other vehicular traffic is.

The requirement that pedestrians face traffic when walking in a roadway or a narrow shoulder has some merit at night, when drivers often cannot see pedestrians (who don't use reflectors and lights) and therefore it's helpful for pedestrians walking in the roadway to be able to see when they need to take evasive action to protect themselves.

Some pedestrians, especially children, might also move further into the roadway suddenly without looking back for overtaking traffic. Facing traffic may help reduce this risk in some places, at least if the intersection density is low enough that the increased hazard of contra-flow walking at intersections does not overwhelm it.

Cycling safety experts stress that all cyclists, including children, must develop the habit of looking back over their shoulder before moving laterally on the roadway, and should ride far enough from hazards at the edge of the pavement that they eliminate emergency maneuvers that would cause them to swerve suddenly farther into the roadway. Cyclists who follow these practices do not collide with drivers who overtake them at a safe distance. Daytime overtaking collisions on wide roads are extremely rare; most overtaking collisions involve narrow roads where drivers attempt to pass without changing lanes, at too close distance. If the lane is narrow, car drivers should change lanes to pass; many cyclists will ride in the center of narrow lanes to reinforce this requirement. The rest of the overtaking collisions in the crash data are mostly drunk and texting drivers.

Is RGS still with us, or was this just a troll?

Last edited by sggoodri; 07-20-10 at 09:49 AM.
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