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Cycling Fatality Statistics

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Cycling Fatality Statistics

Old 01-28-21, 08:36 AM
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work4bike
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Cycling Fatality Statistics

I've always been a little skeptical of all the hype around cycling statistics and the naming of the most dangerous states/cities. My state and city were always noteworthy for being the most dangerous in the country (Jacksonville, Fl), but I've always questioned that, simply from my extensive cycling in this city compared to various other cities and states I've cycled, both as a commuter and a touring cyclist.

However, now I've come across this set of statistics and it seems to turn every thing upside down. This is a list of the top 20 most dangerous cities to cycle and my state is only mentioned once, albeit, it's from my city of Jax, but that doesn't surprise me, since I've seen a lot of stupid people on bikes doing incredibly stupid things and since our mild climate lends to more cycling days per year, I get it.

What makes sense with this list is that "Spoiler Alert" (New York city) is rated number one deadliest city, which is very believable. City in parenthesis has a White font color

BTW, I feel very safe cycling in and around Jacksonville. I've definitely cycled in other cities/states that were far more dangerous.



https://www.insider.com/most-dangero...bike-in-2019-7



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Old 01-28-21, 09:29 AM
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Raw numbers don't tell the whole story. For the data to have meaning, it has to factor in exposure hours. Coming up with good exposure data is extremely difficult.
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Old 01-28-21, 11:08 AM
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What a terrible headline and a worse article. Without a reference to number of people riding and more importantly, time on the road being exposed (I like exposure time better than per mile comparison), no one knows if rates are up or down. As evidenced by my inability to purchase a new Trek bike of choice for a year from now, suggests that the penetration of bike riders is the biggest it has ever been.

The other interesting thing I find about this article is that many of the cities highlighted are the ones that have been leading the country in building infrastructure and encouragement. NYC, Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, and more have made major investment in safety and encouragement programs. The pandemic hits, auto traffic declines and many people still on the sideline, decide this is the time to get into the biking game. If I were to guess what is happening, the percent of accident per cyclist time on the road is way down. But that would mean more accidents/deaths than the year before but NOT as a percentage of total riders. This still needs to be fixed but it is highly unlikely, injuries and deaths can be turned on its head in our leading bicycle communities. Raw data, poorly analyzed. Good for selling ads.
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Old 01-28-21, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
(I like exposure time better than per mile comparison),
Exposure hours are more telling than miles. For each average mile traveled a bicycle would be on the road substantially more time. There are obviously a lot of variables at play there.
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Old 01-28-21, 01:48 PM
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No matter what your denominator, miles, hours, riders, the numerators are going to be so small (blessedly) that statistics are going to be difficult at best, and probably unreliable. At very low numbers, a random perturbation of a few fatalities would drastically change the rankings. I would be interested in the p values on the differences between cities.
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Old 01-28-21, 02:09 PM
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the stats are cautionary at best ... messengers are at the highest risk and metro commuters to a much lesser extent ... anecdotes aside urban street riding is a crap shoot and rush hour makes you a human video game
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Old 01-28-21, 03:45 PM
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I totally agree with all of you about all the different factors that can't be reflected in the simple raw numbers. However, that's all they used (raw numbers) with all those stories that claimed Florida is such a dangerous state to cycle.

From my experience cycling all over the place, this just isn't true.
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Old 01-29-21, 10:59 PM
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Denial is not a river in Egypt.
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Old 01-29-21, 11:14 PM
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It's a meaningless ratio, IMO. What happens when one city has extra safe drivers and extra clumsy cyclists.?? LOL
NY has winter, while lots of these cities don't.
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Old 01-30-21, 01:56 AM
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Most dangerous cities? Seriously?


#2 Seattle had 3 cycling fatalities.

#4 San Jose had 4 cycling fatalities.

#4 San Francisco had 2 cycling fatalities.

#5 Boston had 2 cycling fatalities.

#6 Washington DC had 2 cycling fatalities.


etc...
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Old 01-30-21, 09:30 AM
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As I have posted else where, statistics that someone comes up with or posts, usually affirms what the researcher believed to begin with. In other words, not very reliable.
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Old 01-30-21, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
As I have posted else where, statistics that someone comes up with or posts, usually affirms what the researcher believed to begin with. In other words, not very reliable.
I agree, that's just another reason I never believed the stats and claims that Florida is such an unsafe state to cycle in, compared to all the other states. Until there's a real in depth study that goes beyond simple raw numbers, we'll keep guessing.
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Old 01-30-21, 04:12 PM
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Useless. The numbers of fataliites are simply too low to be useful for statistics. I mean, 2.2% of 89 is 2 fatalities. If that number even goes up or down by 1, it totally changes the analysis. Even non fatal crashes may be too infrequent to learn anything, and blanket statistics don't tell us what's safe and what isn't -- such as driver and cyclist behavior, choice of route, weather, time of day, impairment, and so forth.

Airlines figured this out. There are too few crashes to gather useful statistics. So they began to review near-misses, which are more frequent, and provide better info. Plus, people live through near-misses, to provide information about what really happened.

I believe the only way to get a clear picture of cycling safety is to study it in an observational fashion. Take a video of a location and observe crashes and near misses. Study different locations. The research will be difficult and expensive, and may never be free of human judgment about the data.
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Old 01-31-21, 07:32 PM
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Here is recent study executed by Outside Magazine. The weakness with this study is that they only reported on fatalities that were reported in the newspaper. So, their count is low, perhaps by 25% and consequently, the analysis only applies to collisions that catch the attention of news. However, with the research they utilized, it is well done report. But, I would still be cautious given the amount of data they did not include. https://www.outsideonline.com/242019...fRaHY_vyH-yDh8
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Old 03-17-21, 02:22 PM
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Nicky Hayden dies from injuries suffered in bicycle crash

Shawn Bradley, former Nets and Mavericks center, paralyzed in bike accident

these are a couple of cautionary tales on the dangers of bicycle riding ... Hayden was a former Moto GP world champion and Bradley was a basketball legend
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Old 03-17-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
Here is recent study executed by Outside Magazine.... https://www.outsideonline.com/242019...fRaHY_vyH-yDh8
Unfortunately they've come to some funny conclusions.

We saw that poorly designed intersections along these roads presented serious hazards for cyclists. While many had multiple lanes for cars, they had none for bikes....And numerous intersections on arterials allow vehicles to turn right on a red light, or have several turning lanes, which makes it much more likely that a driver won’t see a cyclist while they are turning.
Seems like the authors may be forgetting that if there's going to be a through bicycle lane, then it has to switch places with the turning lanes, so that through cyclists are grouped with the through traffic, not trapped by the turning traffic. If the bike lane isn't going to do that, then the other option is for it to disappear at the intersection. What simply doesn't work is to carry a bike lane into an intersection, but place it on the wrong side of turning traffic.

One solution is to restrict concurrent movement, with separate light cycles for left-turning vehicles, vehicles driving straight, and pedestrians and cyclists,
That sounds nice in theory, but it runs into the practical problem that cyclists and pedestrians aren't any more patient than drivers. Putting up a sign that requires cyclists to wait for a unique light phase and not proceed through the intersection even while motor vehicle traffic is allowed to proceed straight through it (as well as turn) all but guarantees non-compliance. And the local police are likely to discover that it's an easy place to write bike tickets.

Some of the deadliest roads in the country were... and First and Second Avenues in Manhattan... First and Second Avenues are busy city streets with little room for cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles to all share the road.
In particular 2nd avenue has a lane on its left side hidden behind parks cars where through cyclists who are typically moving faster than car traffic constantly get into shouting matches with drivers turning into side streets who can't see them overtaking from behind. There are food trucks that sit on on the parking side of that lane while their customers queue opposite on the curbe, then it's blocked by the 24/7 police presence outside a UN mission, then it vanishes to transit a huge multilane notoriously congested left turn to the midtown tunnel - often featuring a person directing traffic entirely out of sync with the lights, and who is has an odd visual issue of being unable to see anything but cars.

It's a case study in how NOT to design something.


Devote serious resources toward protected bike lanes and intersections.
Except that "protected" infrastructure which hides cyclists from driver's view is quite dangerous - they just called a stretch of such one of the most dangerous roads.

It would be better to focus on the fact that one of the primary reasons cyclists ride on 1st and 2nd avenue is that the nearby and far more relaxed and enjoyable East River Greenway that should be the north-south bike equivalent to the FDR in skipping past most of those troublesome and dangerous intersections, is still years away from being contiguous.

However, the claim that First/Second avenue are among the most dangerous is likely itself mistaken, as it counts the number of fatalities without regard to the huge number of trips. Given that there are places you can stand and see a car vs. bike near miss every other minute, it's almost surprising that the numbers aren't worse.

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Old 03-17-21, 05:36 PM
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I think your points are well taken. A bad design of a good concept is ultimately a bad design and a bad concept, as executed.

I am guessing that Outside is suggesting models that are executed in the Netherlands. They would never (maybe there are exceptions) hide a bike lane behind park cars that led into an intersection. Definitely when the bike lane crossed an intersection, the cyclist and the motorist would be controlled by their own traffic signal to eliminate confusion of right-of-way. Perhaps in the USA, cyclists or motorists would not accept a different signal. We are able to do it for left turns, for example.

Developing the bicycle traffic light infrastructure will likely remain on a limited basis in most USA cities for a long time as will exclusive bike lanes. The way it works in the Netherlands is terrific and in my mind a goal for us. I am hoping Buttigieg, who has visited there begins to target grant opportunities with that in mind.
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Old 03-17-21, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
A bad design of a good concept is
It's actually the concept which is broken

Definitely when the bike lane crossed an intersection, the cyclist and the motorist would be controlled by their own traffic signal to eliminate confusion of right-of-way.
This is simply unworkable - for the cyclists, every bit as much as the drivers.

Go take a look at how closely spaced the intersections on first and second avenue are; then note that most cyclists aren't willing to honor even the red lights for cross traffic (nevermind those you'd add to reserve time for turning traffic) because if they did, biking would scarcely have any speed advantage over walking, despite its much greater complications.
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Old 03-17-21, 06:17 PM
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bicycles best operate on a situational basis and all attempts to apply auto rules to bikes wind up being rarely followed by bicyclers and tepidly enforced by enforcers ... bicyclist's safety is up to the bicyclist because being in the right AND being dead or injured is being wronged
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Old 04-10-21, 01:14 PM
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Sometimes you have to question the underlying assumptions.
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Old 04-10-21, 01:23 PM
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Here are the Toronto 2020 road fatalities in comparison with the average from 2001 to 2019.

Overall: 27% decrease (40 vs 54)
Pedestrian: 36% decrease (21 vs 33)
Drivers: 53.8% decrease (7 vs 15)
Motorcycle: increase (8 vs 4)
Cyclists: increase (4 vs 2)

Go ahead, draw your own conclusions.

The only thing I'm going to say is that like most major cities around the world, motor vehicle usage in Toronto has gone down and bicycling has gone up. I suppose some people will argue against that assumption too.
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