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Is riding a bike (on roads) a statistically quite dangerous activity/sport?

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Is riding a bike (on roads) a statistically quite dangerous activity/sport?

Old 05-18-20, 09:39 AM
  #26  
livedarklions
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Whenever you ask "is x activity dangerous?" the question immediately shifts to "as compared to what?"

I just rode 160 road miles this weekend, but I'm not willing to risk going to the barber right now.
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Old 05-18-20, 09:46 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
We have a hit and run accident every week here and thirty deaths a year even though it is not that big HARDLY ANYONE rides bicycles, it is probably literally the most dangerous place in the country to ride a bicycle. I have also been hit twice in the past and that is a big wakeup call.
How many of those riders were "taking the lane" when they were hit? Were you?
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Old 05-18-20, 10:18 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
ď99 percent of all statistics only tell 49 percent of the story.Ē
Ron DeLegge II, Gents with No Cents

The statistics, if done "right", are made up of large populations. That includes people who ride drunk at night wearing dark clothes with no reflectors (and at this point, it doesn't matter whether they are facing or riding with traffic...). For yourself and your family, the "statistics" tell you to put effort into learning safe practices.

What is important is how you behave. There are a lot of resources out there:

https://www.bicyclesafe.com/ This is a good quick overview of what to be alert for. You can jump start your situational awareness by looking for the collision types developing as you ride.

https://www.bikeleague.org/ridesmart Besides the internet content, here in the US the League facilitates training classes. I've taken it twice and I'll take it again in the future because I learn something new each time.

There's lots more out there. I've been commuting by bike for over 15 years on US suburban roads and I am still learning how to be a safer rider.

Maintain situational awareness and be conspicuous.



Then it will be much less likely that you'll be the individual in the "statistical population" that gets injured or killed.
Given all the input I have read so far, this is the post I would pay attention. Most people do not take the time to learn how to bike safely. Ride Smart is a good overview. Cycle Savvy would be another. Pay extra attention where accidents happen. How to take the lane. And other types of learning.

Also, there are many people, even those who bike, who will be willing to tell you about the horrors of riding on roads. There is no doubt that the Dutch approach is the one that should be used all over the world. Having said that, the concerns expressed by many people in N. America, is exaggerated and I expect start with fear and lack of training. That is not to say, they have not had accidents and maybe not their fault. Happens driving and walking too.
I have ridden in cities and rural areas in Europe on self contained tours and techniques are similar.
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Old 05-18-20, 11:20 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
Given all the input I have read so far, this is the post I would pay attention. Most people do not take the time to learn how to bike safely. Ride Smart is a good overview. Cycle Savvy would be another. Pay extra attention where accidents happen. How to take the lane. And other types of learning.

Also, there are many people, even those who bike, who will be willing to tell you about the horrors of riding on roads. There is no doubt that the Dutch approach is the one that should be used all over the world. Having said that, the concerns expressed by many people in N. America, is exaggerated and I expect start with fear and lack of training. That is not to say, they have not had accidents and maybe not their fault. Happens driving and walking too.
I have ridden in cities and rural areas in Europe on self contained tours and techniques are similar.
It's much safer in europe because the roads are much different and drivers much different. There's been more than one rider who has gone all across every continent then came to ride or walk across america and whoops now they are dead. I have never seen that for people who decided to ride across africa or europe.

The studies are pure nonsense because it would cost billions to follow people and see how many people really ride in what way and where they do it and what the results are. They have similar but smaller studies for diet and they spend literally hundreds of millions on completely one single study.

Last edited by Oneder; 05-18-20 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 05-18-20, 01:08 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
It's much safer in europe because the roads are much different and drivers much different. There's been more than one rider who has gone all across every continent then came to ride or walk across america and whoops now they are dead. I have never seen that for people who decided to ride across africa or europe.

The studies are pure nonsense because it would cost billions to follow people and see how many people really ride in what way and where they do it and what the results are. They have similar but smaller studies for diet and they spend literally hundreds of millions on completely one single study.
I biked in Paris and many cities in Europe last year on a self contained tour from Florence to Paris. There is no doubt the motorists have more respect for cyclists. At the same time, Paris is not much different than many places in the USA. I have also biked in all 50 States.

As for Africa, I commuted by bike in RSA for 2 years. One of a few on a bike commuting in town. Most motorists have not been trained to share the road. And, there were no road markings. There were some motorists who did not understand passing a bicycle. But, all in all, I followed the recommendations from the League and others and had a successful riding experience. In thousands of miles, I have never been hit by a car or had to bail out. I have fallen once on black ice. And, my wife has fallen twice both caused by hitting an uneven part of the road. I think it is 80% good road management and 20% luck. I would say the same thing as a motorist.
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Old 05-19-20, 03:22 AM
  #31  
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Riding on the road is dangerous only when there's another car on the road.

Road driving is dangerous even if you're the only car on the road.
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Old 05-19-20, 07:16 AM
  #32  
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Just as some motorists are more dangerous, to themselves or others, some cyclists are in greater danger than others. My motto is to be visible, be predictable and be hyper alert. There motorists who are not alert so I try to be alert enough to cover their inattention.
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Old 05-22-20, 05:38 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
Survivor bias. People who are most unhealthy can't ride in the first place, and when you get unhealthy enough you will drop out of riding.
I don't see that in the particular study that he brought up. It's an estimate based on existing studies/
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Old 05-24-20, 05:55 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
It depends on which roads. Some roads are fairly safe. Some roads have an increased chance of having an accident.
Time of day (rush hour), angle of sun, attentiveness of motorists, width of lanes, average width of vehicles, hard shoulder, soft shoulder, surface condition, and cyclist behavior - to name a few of many variables. Oh...and luck. Do you feel lucky?
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