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Cycling deaths have gone up...

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Cycling deaths have gone up...

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Old 03-07-18, 10:02 AM
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bruce19
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Cycling deaths have gone up...

https://www.bicycling.com/news/cycli...aign=Bicycling
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Old 03-07-18, 10:22 AM
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Yep, two-wheeled vehicles are death machines in today's traffic. We've had this here, with 4 motorcyclists killed in 3 days: "JSO said on Facebook that "it appears vehicles all turned in front of them. At this time, it appears the motorcyclists are not at fault. Investigations are continuing."

I just hardly ride in traffic anymore, mainly go to a local MUP trail, or small backroad streets and on sidewalks. Had a number of close calls, and one person I know killed on their bike on the way home from work. With the current trend towards distracted driving it's certain to get worse.
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Old 03-07-18, 10:54 AM
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Ride smarter.
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Old 03-07-18, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jj1091 View Post
With the current trend towards distracted driving it's certain to get worse.
People have been texting while driving for years, and now we have a problem with distracted driving?
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Old 03-07-18, 11:25 AM
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I too blame the texting while driving.
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Old 03-07-18, 11:44 AM
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Considering that the article states there were 998 cycling deaths in 1975 and there were 818 in 2015, that doesn't seem like much of an increase, but more of a fluctuation.

The most dramatic thing that will drive cycling accident numbers up is the number of cyclists on the road.
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Old 03-07-18, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Considering that the article states there were 998 cycling deaths in 1975 and there were 818 in 2015, that doesn't seem like much of an increase, but more of a fluctuation.

The most dramatic thing that will drive cycling accident numbers up is the number of cyclists on the road.
We can't have that kind of level-headed thinking here in A&S. MOOOOODDDSS!!
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Old 03-07-18, 01:39 PM
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Thread moved from General Cycling to Advocacy & Safety forum.
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Old 03-07-18, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Considering that the article states there were 998 cycling deaths in 1975 and there were 818 in 2015, that doesn't seem like much of an increase, but more of a fluctuation.

The most dramatic thing that will drive cycling accident numbers up is the number of cyclists on the road.
A better idea is to reduce the number of motorists.

The article says the result of low gas prices have more people getting back into their cars. So the result is higher pedestrian and motorist deaths too.

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Old 03-07-18, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
A better idea is to reduce the number of motorists.

The article says the result of low gas prices have more people getting back into their cars. So the result is higher pedestrian and motorist deaths too.
I didn't make a suggestion, so I don't know what 'idea' you are talking about. I was just pointing out that no one tracks "bicycle miles", which makes any sort of deduction about the causation of bicycle accident statistics to be nothing more than vague guesses. But when the accident rate is already so tiny the most obvious factor is how many bikes are out there to get hit.


Would less cars be better? Of course. So would flying bicycles or Iron Man cycling wear.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
People have been texting while driving for years, and now we have a problem with distracted driving?
Exactly. I think there's just more driving due to lower gas prices.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
A better idea is to reduce the number of motorists.

The article says the result of low gas prices have more people getting back into their cars. So the result is higher pedestrian and motorist deaths too.
Ha. That's what I thought, without reading the article. Makes sense.
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Old 03-07-18, 04:39 PM
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"818 deaths". So sad. That's too many.

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Old 03-07-18, 04:59 PM
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One take away I got from the article, was the change in numbers for youths vs middle-aged males. I assume that means less kids riding bikes, at least on the roads, probably more commuter/transport riding by adults. It would be interesting if there was data on type of cycling activity engaged in at time of incident (such as transport vs MAMIL).

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Old 03-07-18, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
"818 deaths". So sad. That's too many.
What's number of deaths is just right? How many deaths are too few?
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Old 03-07-18, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Considering that the article states there were 998 cycling deaths in 1975 and there were 818 in 2015, that doesn't seem like much of an increase, but more of a fluctuation.

The most dramatic thing that will drive cycling accident numbers up is the number of cyclists on the road.
I don't know if you were around in '75, but that was during the biggest bike riding boom America has seen (with the possible exception of the late 1800s when it rose from zero). The year with the most total bicycles sold is still 1974. Put simply, there were a lot more of us riding then than now. Also note that total highway deaths in 1975 were also substantially higher, at about 44,000 compared to the 36,000 in 2015. These years are just in such different eras that they really shouldn't be compared. That's why the focus of the article was the change over the more recent years, other than noting that our cyclists are now mostly adults compared to prior decades.

In my state, roadway deaths are up a LOT more than the miles driven are up. Our slaughter rate has risen by about 60% since 2013, but total miles driven are up only a small fraction. There is a study showing that phone use is up quite a bit over that time (I'm too lazy to look it up), and that seems to be a dominating factor. Of course we continue to reduce traffic law enforcement from its already low levels, so that's going to affect driving behavior in a negative way as well.

I'll accept that there is a non-zero probability that I may be finished off while riding. Cycling adds quite a bit to my life that other forms of transportation don't, and driving has a similar, if ever so slightly lower, risk of sudden death (not to mention its impact on general health and the increased exposure to carcinogens while in a car). Taken as a whole, even accounting for the lives lost to CARnage, people who ride live longer on average. That's not helpful if you're one of those who is taken down, but you probably won't notice it anyway.
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Old 03-08-18, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I don't know if you were around in '75, but that was during the biggest bike riding boom America has seen (with the possible exception of the late 1800s when it rose from zero). The year with the most total bicycles sold is still 1974. Put simply, there were a lot more of us riding then than now. Also note that total highway deaths in 1975 were also substantially higher, at about 44,000 compared to the 36,000 in 2015. These years are just in such different eras that they really shouldn't be compared. That's why the focus of the article was the change over the more recent years, other than noting that our cyclists are now mostly adults compared to prior decades.
A lot has changed since 1975, which is really what I was getting at. We can look at insignificant variations in bicycle accident statistics year to year and pretend to know that this one went up due to texting and that one is down due to gas costs, but that is pure guesses. The number of cycling fatalities per year is so low that it compares to the number of people that accidentally strangle of suffocate themselves in bed every year. When numbers are so low, the function of pure chance becomes a large component of what produces the annual numbers.

Until someone starts tracking the actual amount of annual bicycle use there is absolutely no way to say the death rate changed in a meaningful way. In a year with more deaths, was the weather better and there were more riders? On a low death year were people pissed about Lance? How many deaths are among the growing homeless population? How many were caused in part by poorly maintained streets?

If anything, the annual death toll is shockingly low. It is a mistake to pretend that we understand much of anything about the annual variations.
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Old 03-08-18, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
What's number of deaths is just right? How many deaths are too few?
Eight?! I'm just tossing it out there. That'd make me feel 100 times safer!
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Old 03-08-18, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Considering that the article states there were 998 cycling deaths in 1975 and there were 818 in 2015, that doesn't seem like much of an increase, but more of a fluctuation.

The most dramatic thing that will drive cycling accident numbers up is the number of cyclists on the road.
If anything, this should be viewed as a dramatic reduction in the number of relative fatalities-- in 1975 some 998 cyclists were killed, and there were somewhere between 90-100 million registered vehicles. In 2015 we saw those 818 fatalities, but there were over 260 million vehicles on the road. Passenger miles have probably tripled during that 40 year span-- more cars, driving farther and faster.

In the end, it doesn't matter how many cars are on the road or how vigilant we are as cyclists-- the cars I get buzzed by virtually all have one thing in common: steering wheel in one hand, smartphone in the other. No defense against distracted driving.
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Old 03-08-18, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If anything, this should be viewed as a dramatic reduction in the number of relative fatalities-- in 1975 some 998 cyclists were killed, and there were somewhere between 90-100 million registered vehicles. In 2015 we saw those 818 fatalities, but there were over 260 million vehicles on the road. Passenger miles have probably tripled during that 40 year span-- more cars, driving farther and faster.

In the end, it doesn't matter how many cars are on the road or how vigilant we are as cyclists-- the cars I get buzzed by virtually all have one thing in common: steering wheel in one hand, smartphone in the other. No defense against distracted driving.
Based on your statistical analysis and observations, do think the dramatic reduction in the number of relative cycling fatalities is at least a partial result of an increase in drivers with steering wheel in one hand and smartphone in the other?
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Old 03-08-18, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Based on your statistical analysis and observations, do think the dramatic reduction in the number of relative cycling fatalities is at least a partial result of an increase in drivers with steering wheel in one hand and smartphone in the other?
Just the opposite, the number of fatalities is directly proportionate to an increase in distracted drivers, not an increase in simple number of vehicles or miles traveled. I think cars have gotten safer and drivers in general have not gotten worse, but the small portion of drivers who operate vehicles while distracted are currently a greater danger to cyclists than any other factor.
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Old 03-08-18, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Just the opposite, the number of fatalities is directly proportionate to an increase in distracted drivers, not an increase in simple number of vehicles or miles traveled. I think cars have gotten safer and drivers in general have not gotten worse, but the small portion of drivers who operate vehicles while distracted are currently a greater danger to cyclists than any other factor.
Or the number of cyclists increased. It is impossible to tell what happened.

Fortunately, no one has to prove that the fatality rate is the direct result of texting to know that texting while driving is bad.
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Old 03-08-18, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Or the number of cyclists increased. It is impossible to tell what happened.

Fortunately, no one has to prove that the fatality rate is the direct result of texting to know that texting while driving is bad.
But the increased number of cyclists isn't the problem, is it? Nor is the number of pedestrians.
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Old 03-08-18, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
But the increased number of cyclists isn't the problem, is it? Nor is the number of pedestrians.
"The problem". If you could define "the problem" then we could talk about the causes. But the statistics don't actually suggest that there has been an actual negative change in the fatality rate per mile or per hour of cycling. So there may be no problem other than that cycling has never been 100% safe and never will be.


Doing statistical analysis from extremely partial data is madness. You might as well ask the Tarot cards if cycling is more dangerous or not.
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Old 03-08-18, 02:05 PM
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Statistics in context: out of 1000 cyclists 818 is a lot but out of a million, not so much..
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