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City of Vancouver studies on collisions of vehicles and vulnerable road users

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City of Vancouver studies on collisions of vehicles and vulnerable road users

Old 04-05-24, 09:35 AM
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City of Vancouver studies on collisions of vehicles and vulnerable road users

https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/pedestrian-safety-study-2012-final-report.pdf

https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/cycling-safety-study-summary-report.pdf

In collisions with vehicles, over 90% of vulnerable road users (cyclists, pedestrians) had the right of way.

Some conclusions that you can likely draw from such study outcomes:

- That we as cyclists need to remain vigilant, with such info serving as a figurative “pinch” to remind us to not take anything for granted nor assume anything.

- Having the right of way is not enough in most circumstances, you also need to have certainty that you have the right of way in how you interact with other road users.

- take control of everything within your control to make yourself visible and safe. From how you equip your bike (lights, visibility/conspicuity devices, etc), how you ride (defensively), to route selection (if it means a longer ride for a safer route, do it and enjoy the extra physical & mental health benefits), to having a well maintained & comfortable bike, do as much as you can.

- Most importantly these studies show that vehicular cycling - that is the North American ideology that has been prevalent for many years which is often enshrined within state/provincial laws, where cyclists are often legally required to adhere to, behave as, be treated the same as, and ride amongst motorists doesn’t work and is a failure. This needlessly injures and kills innocent people who are following the law.

Maybe I am preaching to the choir here, maybe some won’t like it too. But everytime you hear your car loving coworker trash talking bikes, this info might help balance the conversation.
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Old 04-05-24, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for posting the links.

One thing I learned in bicycle crash analyses is to look beyond the standard crash types (which are useful to some degree) and try to assess any specific behavior patterns that might be a factor in crashes, especially at complicated intersections.

Vancouver has a remarkably low number of bicyclist crashes for its size, including fatalities. Many factors could be affecting this, but at least it's a good trend.

There are a lot of doorings, though. Dooring crashes are often common in dense urban environments with on-street parking. One way to completely avoid dooring is to ride outside the door zone, which is taught by several "smart cycling" programs. There may be factors that work against such behavior, such as motor traffic speed in the lane adjacent to parking, or conversely congestion in that lane where motor traffic is slower than cyclists (e.g. cyclists trying to get through by riding in the space between slower and parked vehicles & getting doored).

The countermeasures list contains many recommendations for increased use of traffic control devices, such as signs and markings. Historically in North American practice, passive devices that try to change or contradict ingrained road user behavior at intersections have shown limited effectiveness in changing behavior - this could be a factor in some of the turning-movement crashes at designated bikeways. Active devices such as signals can have increased effectiveness, but this depends on road user compliance. I remember observing a bicycle signal in Montreal several years ago with almost zero cyclist compliance, but due to low motor vehicle travel speeds there were many conflicts and people yelling at each other in French, but few reported collisions. If motor traffic speeds are faster at these locations, there may be a higher crash rate.
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Old 04-05-24, 11:44 AM
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I didn't look at the links, but it's nice to know that somewhere there are cities taking cycling seriously enough to do studies.

Definitely agree with being vigilant. And don't assume drivers of any other vehicles that are going to be about the same place at about the same time are going to arrive at the same conclusion as you do with regards to any situation ahead.

I don't shy away from using my lane. And riding anywhere in that lane. I feel that cars should be able to change lanes completely if they wish to pass me. But I don't mind those that miss me by the required three feet here, as I know that they had room in the other lane if they needed it. Because there was probably 3 feet on the other side of me to the edge of the road.

My state only requires me to ride as close to the right as is practicable. Which legally is a big difference from practical. Practicable, legally implies that I can consider safety reasons for not being right on the fog line or edge of the pavement. IMO, I might need that 3 feet to my right just in case that car is too close! Though at 40mph+ closure rates, I probably won't realize the danger from the car in time.

Unless perhaps I notice it's pulling a trailer that is wider than it is. Which actually was a issue once when I did ride the fog line and the car tried to pass when oncoming traffic was in the other lane. And prior to the 3 feet law. Since then I never ride the fog line when there is oncoming traffic. I don't want to give any cars behind me the impression they can squeeze by.

Last edited by Iride01; 04-05-24 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 04-05-24, 03:18 PM
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"Practicable": reasonably feasible given existing conditions at that particular place and time.

Definitely not the same as "possible".
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Old 04-05-24, 06:40 PM
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12 years ago is relevant?? LOL
Last month I watched several professional videos of the accident stats for the last 5 years in Holland. They have near triple the fatalities that the whole Canada has. 3/4 are elderly 75+ in Holland. It could be that many of them are E-bikes. A lot of us see how they are inherently more dangerous from inexperience and speed.
Forcing other lane passes is a LAUGHABLE farce.

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Old 04-05-24, 08:42 PM
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GamblerGORD53: I believe that there is much more use of bicycles per capita than many other countries.
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Old 04-06-24, 06:21 AM
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OP, is this an old study or a newer study using older data? If newer using older data, do you know why?

Originally Posted by speyfitter
https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/pedestrian-safety-study-2012-final-report.pdf

https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/cycli...ary-report.pdf

In collisions with vehicles, over 90% of vulnerable road users (cyclists, pedestrians) had the right of way.

Some conclusions that you can likely draw from such study outcomes:

- That we as cyclists need to remain vigilant, with such info serving as a figurative “pinch” to remind us to not take anything for granted nor assume anything.

- Having the right of way is not enough in most circumstances, you also need to have certainty that you have the right of way in how you interact with other road users.

- take control of everything within your control to make yourself visible and safe. From how you equip your bike (lights, visibility/conspicuity devices, etc), how you ride (defensively), to route selection (if it means a longer ride for a safer route, do it and enjoy the extra physical & mental health benefits), to having a well maintained & comfortable bike, do as much as you can.

- Most importantly these studies show that vehicular cycling - that is the North American ideology that has been prevalent for many years which is often enshrined within state/provincial laws, where cyclists are often legally required to adhere to, behave as, be treated the same as, and ride amongst motorists doesn’t work and is a failure. This needlessly injures and kills innocent people who are following the law.

Maybe I am preaching to the choir here, maybe some won’t like it too. But everytime you hear your car loving coworker trash talking bikes, this info might help balance the conversation.
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Old 04-06-24, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by debade
OP, is this an old study or a newer study using older data? If newer using older data, do you know why?
I don’t have an answer for you. Sorry.
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Old 04-06-24, 07:30 AM
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I haven't read the reports but it looks like all the advice is for the cyclist and the pedestrian to be viligent and careful. Is there anywhere else in the report telling motorists to be vigilent and careful so that they can avoid collisions too?

These kind of report make you think that drivers are an independant force of nature that the participant has to adapt and accomodate. But drivers are made up of civilized human beings too and we'd like to think they are also reasonable and adaptable to pedestrians and cyclists.

I am a member of CAA and do receive their seasonal magazine. A few years ago in their summer issue, CAA had a big section about cycling. The article had a whole bunch of pointers how to cycle carefully. I noted and wrote back to CAA the next time to include a whole bunch of pointers for motorists for what to expect from cyclists, why they have to do what they do and how to avoid any collision or confrontational situations.

I also attend many Complete Streets public consultations in Toronto. They have publications called something like safety tips for cyclists and safety tips for pedestrians. I asked one of the staff that if they knew which guide was missing? Yeah, they said they ran out of the safety guide for drivers.

Last edited by Daniel4; 04-06-24 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 04-06-24, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
I haven't read the reports but it looks like all the advice is for the cyclist and the pedestrian to be viligent and careful. Is there anywhere else in the report telling motorists to be vigilent and careful so that they can avoid collisions too?

These kind of report make you think that drivers are an independant force of nature that the participant has to adapt and accomodate. But drivers are made up of civilized human beings too and we'd like to think they are also reasonable and adaptable to pedestrians and cyclists.

I am a member of CAA and do receive their seasonal magazine. A few years ago in their summer issue, CAA had a big section about cycling. The article had a whole bunch of pointers how to cycle carefully. I noted and wrote back to CAA the next time to include a whole bunch of pointers for motorists for what to expect from cyclists, why they have to do what they do and how to avoid any collision or confrontational situations.

I also attend many Complete Streets public consultations in Toronto. They have publications called something like safety tips for cyclists and safety tips for pedestrians. I asked one of the staff that if they knew which guide was missing? Yeah, they said they ran out of the safety guide for drivers.
I think focusing on changing behaviour of mototists has to come primarily from changes to infrastructure design with a focus on passive designs. Relying on enforcement and changes to laws will help a bit but it isn’t as sustainable. That same can be true for cyclists, pedestrians etc.

Regardless of the exact timing of these studies, the results are incredibly alarming. And I don’t think from my experience, that these results would be much different today.
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Old 04-06-24, 09:09 AM
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With very few exceptions, people don't intend or wan't to injure or kill others. As much as we want motorists to be focused on looking for us, they have other things on their mind and aren't. We know motorists starting from a stop don't always see us. I watch for this and confirm they see me by yelling hello and see the head movement or a smile. I also state things like wake up or wake up little susie. What we commonly call right or left hooks are manageable if we are alert and know how to handle our bicycles. In 2010 I was on my Tandem alone pulling my Bob trailer with a load of groceries from Costco. There was Light traffic going down a hill. As I approached an intersection the light turned green and after making sure my lane was clear from behind I moved out further in the lane. because I was going straight. A city bus that was in the outer straight thru lane cut me off making a right turn that nearly ran me over with the rear of the bus. I had to counter steer and was still brushed by part of the bus. A couple of years later the wife and I were on the way back from a Stater Brothers riding the Tandem with the bob trailer full of groceries. A woman decided to start into a left turn across our path and the wife yelled. The effect of the yell was the woman noticing us and stopping before we collided. being alert and having and using some basic cycling skills can't always save us but has served me well. My newest piece of safety equipment is a Hyper Whistle.
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Old 04-06-24, 12:32 PM
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The one thing I have noticed is vehicles have:

- become more and more isolated from the road as each new generation/model comes out

- have more distractions built in to them such as more buttons, way bigger touch screens, etc

- distracted driving is still a big issue despite changes to laws in most states/provinces

- driving is still not treated like the privilege it is

- there are more safety “nannies” built in but they are mainly aimed at protecting vehicle occupants over others
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Old 04-06-24, 05:45 PM
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Studies like this are for academics. Likewise, discussions of "right of way", which are for accident investigators and litigators.



Those of us who ride need to take charge of our own destinies, and prevent these debates by avoiding collisions for them to argue about.
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Old 04-06-24, 05:49 PM
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more cyclists need to be vocal where it will gain attention. It'll probably get you kicked out of board meetings, city hall event, & boil certain people's blood, but enough of that will eventually drive a change.
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Old 04-08-24, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by speyfitter
Some conclusions that you can likely draw from such study outcomes:

- That we as cyclists need to remain vigilant, with such info serving as a figurative “pinch” to remind us to not take anything for granted nor assume anything.

- Having the right of way is not enough in most circumstances, you also need to have certainty that you have the right of way in how you interact with other road users.

- take control of everything within your control to make yourself visible and safe. From how you equip your bike (lights, visibility/conspicuity devices, etc), how you ride (defensively), to route selection (if it means a longer ride for a safer route, do it and enjoy the extra physical & mental health benefits), to having a well maintained & comfortable bike, do as much as you can.
These are all conclusions that people (here) should have come to many years ago (without these particular studies).

Most of these are the basis of "defensive driving".

Originally Posted by speyfitter
Maybe I am preaching to the choir here, maybe some won’t like it too. But everytime you hear your car loving coworker trash talking bikes, this info might help balance the conversation.
You should have been aware of all this. That is, not much of these should be conclusions from these. Your conclusions should have been confirmations.

Twelve year old studies?

Last edited by njkayaker; 04-08-24 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 04-08-24, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by debade
OP, is this an old study or a newer study using older data? If newer using older data, do you know why?
The cycling study says the 5-year data window was 2007-2012, so 17 to 12 years ago.
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Old 04-08-24, 10:18 AM
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I look at drivers at intersections, and look for faces in the rear view mirrors, but that is getting increasingly hard, at least in my neighborhood, as the use of tints on front side windows and even windshields are getting more common. Yes, it is illegal in New York State, however: I am seeing it more.
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Old 04-08-24, 10:22 AM
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I would say drivers in Edmonton haven't been a problem for 35 years, if ever. 1 or 2 deaths is a bad year.
They go out of their way to let anybody cross. The distracted drivers are ALL pulled over.
I go on/ off sidewalks all the time, but always looking of course. I make a point of going behind the first car looking for an opening.
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Old 04-08-24, 07:48 PM
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I drove fire engines for almost 20 years in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Big Red Truck (the proverbial BRT), tons of flashing lights, reflective materials on all sides, two types of crushingly loud sirens, dual air horns.... and I/we still drove as if we were invisible. Everyone on the rig was part of the 'see something say something' team by calling out other drivers (and pedestrians!! ) who posed a threat to our movement. The point is that making sure people know you're there is crucially important and will cover the majority of situations, BUT even though you legally have the right of way you have to make sure others have yielded that right of way to you. I use that same philosophy riding every day.
Be careful out there!
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