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Bikes are the real killers!

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Old 09-07-07, 04:22 PM
  #1  
fish0n
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Bikes are the real killers!

I was on a local forum and saw a thread that said: Your commute...single driver, carpool, public transit?? So I thought I would tell people how I commute.

One response I got was:
Seven bikes riders have been killed in Washington county in the last two years. Be carfull where you ride your Bicycle. Most of the roads are really not made for them and the car drivers are not all going to be good. It's better to be safe than sorry and dead. "And I'm a bicycle rider". Ride your bicycle in a safe place and watch out.
Good Luck;

My response back was:
Point taken. Here is something to think about: How many car drivers have been killed or killed someone in WA county in the last couple years? I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) cars kill over 40,000 people each year. Portland is one of the most bike-friendly citys in the us...........

The guy response back:
Comparing cars to bicycles fatalities is really very wrong. As the percentage of bicycle riders killed to the number on the road is very much higher than the car fatalties. Riding a bicycle on the Portland streets is very dangerous and you risk your life everytime it is done. Any accident between a car and bicycle and the bicycle will always come out second best. The politicians would like for you to think Portland is a bike friendly city. "It's not true" They would very much like for you to ride Max transit and leave your car at home, but that isn't going to happen for a long time if ever it does.
Ride your bicycle at your own risk. It's your choice. But it isn't a safe way to travel.
Good Luck


I would like some info before I give him my response. It would seem possible that since there are not as many cyclist as cars on the street that the percentage of cyclist deaths (and injures) could be higher. But of course I'm sure most of these would be caused by....cars! But this still wouldn't make it commuting by bike safer. Or are there really less bike death/injures? I'm really hopping I might be able to get some of the people that are viewing the thread to at least think about commuting by bike. Also what are some other benefits you can think of commuting by bike?





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Old 09-07-07, 04:34 PM
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From the guy's response: The politicians would like for you to think Portland is a bike friendly city. "It's not true"

He does this a number of times in his responses.

You could ask him what's with the inappropriate use of quotes?
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Old 09-07-07, 04:38 PM
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some things to google for:

The survey that conluded bike commuters have a lower mortality rate from ALL CAUSES including accidents, disease etc. - if memory serves that was big in the news around 2006-2007 change.

bicycle death rate per 100,000 riders compared to death rates of drivers per 100,000 auto drivers, if memory serves, the auto driver rates dwarf bicycle rates.

bicycle deaths from bike-vehicle crashs vs. bicycle death rates in general. no idea what you will find here, but I would not be surprised to find that a higher than expected number of bicycle deaths do not involve cars.

good luck.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:50 PM
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Here's an interesting web page I found. http://www.arthurhu.com/INDEX/health....htm#deathrank

""Death Spectrum"

Annual US Deaths Due to Various causes
Compiled by Arthur Hu
---------------------------------------------------
Number User Rate
Acc. Chlorpyrifos poison 0
Disneyland 0.2
Latex gloves 0.3
Shark Attack 1
Bean Bag Chair suffocation 1
Acetaminophen child 1
Baby walker 1
Amusement Park 1-2 260M 1 in 260M
Baby playpens 1.5
Newspaper boy 2 WSJ 7/2002
Stage Diving (concert) 1997 2
Car Trunk child 89-99 avg 2
Soda Machine Toppling 2
Furniture tipover under5 yrs 3
Flammable sleepwear 2-3
Fireworks 1999 4 Newsweek 8/13/2001
HS College football play heat 4
Gyrocopters 1996-2001 4
Bunk Beds 5
Hawaii Helicopters 5
Charter Bus 6
Old Seattle I90 bridge 7
Bath seat drownings 8 1 per 100,000 seats
Roller Skates 10 27M 1 in 2.7 million
Children 2-6 in Car Trunk 98 11 1 in 160,000
Window blind cords 13
Coal Mines 2001 14
Airbag Children 15
Amtrak passenger/crew 15 1 in 4.2 million
Elderly Bed Rails 85-99 16
Drawstring hoods 1995 17
Snowmobile avalanche 01-02 18 Newsweek Apr 15 02 p8
Children household poisons 20
Dog Bites 20 1 in 12 million
Killed by guns in school 86-9 23
Avalanche 20-25
Mud/Landslide 25-50
---#1 natural disaster?----------
Playground 25
Skydiving 30
Alaskan Fishermen 30
Skiing deaths 34 1 in 10 million
Boating WA 94 36
15 passenger vans 90-02 40
Hurricane 1940-81 47
Construction Crane 50 1 in 1000 operators
Bee Wasp stings 50
Personal Watercraft 54
Killed School Bus 86-9 58
1999 Bus deaths 58
Lightning '95 89
Chickenpox 90
Needle Sticks 100
Fire Ants 100
'99 child in adult car belt 105
Flood 40-81 109
Candles 126
Tornado 40-81 128
Police Officers 2000 151
Lightning 40-81 188
Airline 200
Car Deer Collisions 211
Campylobacter(chicken) 200-1000
IllImm Mex-US Border '97 300
Bicycle Under 14 300
Childbirth 302
CJD brain disease 300-400
Heat related illness 318 Newsweek 8/13/01
Struck by trains 1999 530
CO Poisoning 594
General Aviation 600
Children under 4 cars 700
Recreational Boating 1996 714
Bicycle 1995 800
Railroad 1999 805
Child pedestrian[3] 1,100
Water borne disease 50- 1,200
Agriculture 1,300
CO Poisoning 1,500
Rec Boating 1973 1,754
Car Hit by SUV U Michigan 2,000
Motorcycle 2,500
Car Phone 2002 Harvard 2,500
Subcompact cars NHTSA 2-3,000
EPA Second Hand Smoke 3,000
Fire 4,500
Drowning 4,621
Teen car accidents 5,500
Pedestrian accidents 6,000
Occupational Injuries 6,200
Adverse Drug Reactions 7,000
Food Illness 9,000
Skin Cancers 9,733
Railroad 1917 10,000
Bladder Cancer 11,700
Falls 12,662
Shooting Murder 15,456
Diet related Cancer 16,000
Alchohol Driving 17,126
Influenza 20,000
AIDS 20,000
Radon (EPA high) 20,000
Lukemia 21,000
Suicide 1994[2] (#9) 31,142
Prostate Cancer 40,000
Breast Cancer 44,560
Motor Vehicle 50,000
Lukemia & Related 56,000
Colon Cancer 60,000
Mass Smallpox Vacc 71,250
Unintended Injuries (#5) 87,000
Medical Mistakes 98,000
Alchohol Related 100,000
Adverse Drug Reactions 106,000 JAMA '98
Trauma 125,000
Medical Negligence est 150,000
Lung Cancer 158,700
Diabetes related 169,000
Influenza/pneumonia (#6) 200,000
Obesity (#2?)[1] 300,000
Tobacco related (#1?) 500,000
Cancer (#2) 500,000
Diseases of heart (#1) 733,834"

Note the parts I've highlighted.

EDIT: You might as well throw obesity in there since a lot of drivers are obese.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:54 PM
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Riding a bicycle on the Portland streets is very dangerous and you risk your life everytime it is done
hmmm I always wonder what people mean when they make this sort of statement... that is... are they suggesting that all bikers quit riding their bikes on Portland streets, 100%, toto... done? Bikes would be allowed in designated, bike safety zones, where no cars are allowed, soft rubbery surfaces, with pillowy side cushions in case you fall?
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Old 09-07-07, 04:55 PM
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I don't remember where I saw it, but I've read somewhere that the fatality rate for US bicyclists is 11x higher than for car drivers when considering the fatalities per number of cars/bikes. It was worse than for pedestrians, who were about 7x worse than drivers, when cosidering it as a percentage of them actually walking. I'd wish that I kept the source.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:56 PM
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Oh dang, the yellow text on white background is so hard to read I had to highlight it with the mouse to read it.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
Here's an interesting web page I found. http://www.arthurhu.com/INDEX/health....htm#deathrank

""Death Spectrum"

Annual US Deaths Due to Various causes
Compiled by Arthur Hu
---------------------------------------------------
Number User Rate
Acc. Chlorpyrifos poison 0
Disneyland 0.2
Latex gloves 0.3
Shark Attack 1
Bean Bag Chair suffocation 1
Acetaminophen child 1
Baby walker 1
Amusement Park 1-2 260M 1 in 260M
Baby playpens 1.5
Newspaper boy 2 WSJ 7/2002
Stage Diving (concert) 1997 2
Car Trunk child 89-99 avg 2
Soda Machine Toppling 2
Furniture tipover under5 yrs 3
Flammable sleepwear 2-3
Fireworks 1999 4 Newsweek 8/13/2001
HS College football play heat 4
Gyrocopters 1996-2001 4
Bunk Beds 5
Hawaii Helicopters 5
Charter Bus 6
Old Seattle I90 bridge 7
Bath seat drownings 8 1 per 100,000 seats
Roller Skates 10 27M 1 in 2.7 million
Children 2-6 in Car Trunk 98 11 1 in 160,000
Window blind cords 13
Coal Mines 2001 14
Airbag Children 15
Amtrak passenger/crew 15 1 in 4.2 million
Elderly Bed Rails 85-99 16
Drawstring hoods 1995 17
Snowmobile avalanche 01-02 18 Newsweek Apr 15 02 p8
Children household poisons 20
Dog Bites 20 1 in 12 million
Killed by guns in school 86-9 23
Avalanche 20-25
Mud/Landslide 25-50
---#1 natural disaster?----------
Playground 25
Skydiving 30
Alaskan Fishermen 30
Skiing deaths 34 1 in 10 million
Boating WA 94 36
15 passenger vans 90-02 40
Hurricane 1940-81 47
Construction Crane 50 1 in 1000 operators
Bee Wasp stings 50
Personal Watercraft 54
Killed School Bus 86-9 58
1999 Bus deaths 58
Lightning '95 89
Chickenpox 90
Needle Sticks 100
Fire Ants 100
'99 child in adult car belt 105
Flood 40-81 109
Candles 126
Tornado 40-81 128
Police Officers 2000 151
Lightning 40-81 188
Airline 200
Car Deer Collisions 211
Campylobacter(chicken) 200-1000
IllImm Mex-US Border '97 300
Bicycle Under 14 300
Childbirth 302
CJD brain disease 300-400
Heat related illness 318 Newsweek 8/13/01
Struck by trains 1999 530
CO Poisoning 594
General Aviation 600
Children under 4 cars 700
Recreational Boating 1996 714
Bicycle 1995 800
Railroad 1999 805
Child pedestrian[3] 1,100
Water borne disease 50- 1,200
Agriculture 1,300
CO Poisoning 1,500
Rec Boating 1973 1,754
Car Hit by SUV U Michigan 2,000
Motorcycle 2,500
Car Phone 2002 Harvard 2,500
Subcompact cars NHTSA 2-3,000
EPA Second Hand Smoke 3,000
Fire 4,500
Drowning 4,621
Teen car accidents 5,500
Pedestrian accidents 6,000
Occupational Injuries 6,200
Adverse Drug Reactions 7,000
Food Illness 9,000
Skin Cancers 9,733
Railroad 1917 10,000
Bladder Cancer 11,700
Falls 12,662
Shooting Murder 15,456
Diet related Cancer 16,000
Alchohol Driving 17,126
Influenza 20,000
AIDS 20,000
Radon (EPA high) 20,000
Lukemia 21,000
Suicide 1994[2] (#9) 31,142
Prostate Cancer 40,000
Breast Cancer 44,560
Motor Vehicle 50,000
Lukemia & Related 56,000
Colon Cancer 60,000
Mass Smallpox Vacc 71,250
Unintended Injuries (#5) 87,000
Medical Mistakes 98,000
Alchohol Related 100,000
Adverse Drug Reactions 106,000 JAMA '98
Trauma 125,000
Medical Negligence est 150,000
Lung Cancer 158,700
Diabetes related 169,000
Influenza/pneumonia (#6) 200,000
Obesity (#2?)[1] 300,000
Tobacco related (#1?) 500,000
Cancer (#2) 500,000
Diseases of heart (#1) 733,834"

Note the parts I've highlighted.

EDIT: You might as well throw obesity in there since a lot of drivers are obese.
Note the part I highlighted orange that can be avoided later in life because of cycling.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dalmore View Post
some things to google for:
bicycle death rate per 100,000 riders compared to death rates of drivers per 100,000 auto drivers, if memory serves, the auto driver rates dwarf bicycle rates.
Don't need Google for this one: 100% is the correct answer for both groups.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Don't need Google for this one: 100% is the correct answer for both groups.
Haha...
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Old 09-07-07, 06:29 PM
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You could ask him what's with the inappropriate use of quotes?
The grammer is wrong in that there is no need to place quotation marks around your own statements, but ragging his grammer won't help the discussion I suppose.

I think one of the issues in this debate surfaces because of the high mile accumulation of cars coupled with their ubiquitous use. Sure, lots of people die in cars, but most people also probably travel 15,000 miles or more in them annually. What is the average annual bike distance per capita? 25 miles? And how many deaths are there annually?

I don't have the answers, but I will posit the question that would probably be most helpful. What is the fatality rate for car and bike commuters expressed in deaths per day commuted. This will help normalize the generally longer (by miles) commutes of car commuters and will also delete the deaths of motorists off on vacation and such. Let's get to the brass tacks.....am I more likely to die going to work in my car or on my bike?
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Old 09-07-07, 07:16 PM
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Um, DoB, it's spelled grammar, isn't it?

fish0n, I love the way this guy keeps saying, "you risk your life everytime it is done" like riding a bicycle is the only risky proposition when you're taking transportation. I mean, come on, every time we drive, we risk our lives in motor vehicle crashes with other drivers or losing control, every time we take public transportation, we risk our lives, if someone were to sneak aboard with a bomb or biological weapon (I remember hearing something about a guy who had AIDS, put his blood into needles and poked other people riding the subway). That's a really stupid point to bring up.
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Old 09-07-07, 08:33 PM
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It's so depressing to see America turn into such a nation of wimps, scared of their own damn shadows.
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Old 09-07-07, 09:35 PM
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^^^
Too true. I'd rather die doing something I love, as opposed to letting fear dictate my life. Everyone projects their own fears; obviously we know what his are. I wouldn't respond. Live and let live.
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Old 09-08-07, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by fat_bike_nut View Post
Um, DoB, it's spelled grammar, isn't it?

fish0n, I love the way this guy keeps saying, "you risk your life everytime it is done" like riding a bicycle is the only risky proposition when you're taking transportation. I mean, come on, every time we drive, we risk our lives in motor vehicle crashes with other drivers or losing control, every time we take public transportation, we risk our lives, if someone were to sneak aboard with a bomb or biological weapon
(I remember hearing something about a guy who had AIDS, put his blood into needles and poked other people riding the subway). That's a really stupid point to bring up.
Hmmm.... okay... where the heck did you hear/read about that? That is disgusting, that person should be shot.

A few years back, I remember HIV/AIDS infected muggers used their needles as weapons to mug people.
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Old 09-08-07, 12:15 AM
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What he's trying to say is, cars kill people, and that's why you should drive one. Not because you won't get killed by a car, but at least you'll probably take out someone else at the same time, and getting even is important. And if you get a big enough car, maybe you'll survive a crash that kills everyone else, and winning is the most important thing, really.

Also, when in the course of one's commute, a driver yields to another driver, the yielding driver does so under threat of imminent death or destruction, and is a victim of the other's carelessness or mere presence. Then it's someone else's fault, and that's the way all inconveniences should be. But when a driver reigns in his or her careening death wagon in the presence of a relatively helpless person, that driver faces the dreaded horror of introspection and responsibility. Introspection is hard. Riding a bicycle where drivers can see is inconsiderate of the self ignorance of others. That kind of thing makes waves, rattles cages. Some of them get a little crazy, and start arguing with anyone who won't run away from an arguing wacko.
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Old 09-08-07, 03:35 AM
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I don't know what that guy is basing his opinion on, but Portland is a very safe city (for North America) in which to ride a bike:

Originally Posted by Portland Department of Transportation
The number of bike crashes increased to 188 from 155 over the last 14 years. But the number of bikers grew to 10,192 from 2,050, meaning a smaller proportion of bikers are involved in crashes.
We had 0 fatalities within the city limits in 2006 and I believe 3 so far this year. Washington County is a whole other kettle of fish. It's a very different place to ride a bike from Portland proper.
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Old 09-08-07, 06:21 AM
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There are lots of ways to make bikes look safer than cars, but deaths per mile traveled are still higher for bikes. If you look at some gov't stats, it appears that cyclists account for roughly 2% of fatalities on the roads in the US. There is no way cyclists account for 2% of miles traveled, and I seriously doubt they account for 2% of traffic. Besides, even dangerous roads are reasonably safe in a car. I'll ride many places where other cyclists won't but some roads would just be suicide on a bike.

While risk of death by accident may be elevated on a bike, your risks of practically everything else go way down. The risks of heart disease, cancer, and a number of other very serious health problems drops dramatically if you exercise regularly. You will be stronger, healthier, and look younger. I have found that riding a lot makes me crave a health nut diet because junk gives me the wrong energy.

The problem is that people tend to overestimate the chances of things happening that capture the imagination. They spend lots of time thinking about dying in a terrorist attack or winning the lottery when the odds of these are next to nonexistent. Getting hit while on a bike isn't nearly as rare, but the dynamic is similar. The odds are real, but overblown in most peoples' minds.
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Old 09-08-07, 07:30 AM
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Another fear inducing post. GROW UP you fear monger!!! Holy schit man you can die doing anything, in fact you stand a greater chance dying in a car accident. It doesn't matter that there are fewer bike riders compared to cars, what matters is what is the greatest chance of death, and that is while riding or driving a car. So with your logic of ignorance we should just stay in bed all day...crap that won't work either because the house may burn down, or we die of heart failure because we never get out of bed...heck I guess we're just going to die at some point for some reason which CANNOT be prevented.

Dude I've been riding bikes for over 40 years and retired about 12 years ago in my late 50's and started touring all over the US, Canada and parts of Europe, and just finished a tour about 5 months ago in my very late 60's...AND NEVER ONCE DID I WORRY ABOUT DYING. Dying is a part of life, YOU'RE BORN TO DIE, get use to it or live your entire life in fear worring about something you can't prevent. You want to prevent something then believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and then you won't have to worry about what happens to you after your physical body dies.
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Old 09-08-07, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
Note the part I highlighted orange that can be avoided later in life because of cycling.
Obesity in the US is the #4 killer. Worldwide hunger is #1 (over twice as many deaths as #2). <scratches head>
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Old 09-08-07, 08:26 AM
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Note the part I highlighted orange that can be avoided later in life because of cycling.
You can't avoid that stuff highlighted in orange just because you ride a bike, that's ignorance on your part if you think you can. You might reduce your chances but not eliminate them. You could eliminate shark attacks since I doubt you'll be riding your bike in the ocean!!!
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Old 09-08-07, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
There are lots of ways to make bikes look safer than cars, but deaths per mile traveled are still higher for bikes. If you look at some gov't stats, it appears that cyclists account for roughly 2% of fatalities on the roads in the US. There is no way cyclists account for 2% of miles traveled, and I seriously doubt they account for 2% of traffic. .....
...

Bikes are more dangerous per mile, but average trip distance is shorter, so bikes are safer per trip.

And most bike/car crashes are caused by the bike rider doing something stupid like riding the wrong way or ignoring traffic signals. You improve your odds by not doing stupid stuff (not that I would use that argument in a discussion with a person who is anti-bike).
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Old 09-08-07, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
...

Bikes are more dangerous per mile, but average trip distance is shorter, so bikes are safer per trip.

And most bike/car crashes are caused by the bike rider doing something stupid like riding the wrong way or ignoring traffic signals. You improve your odds by not doing stupid stuff (not that I would use that argument in a discussion with a person who is anti-bike).

The more trips you take doing anything, walking, planes, trains, automobiles, bikes both motorized and non, space shuttle, whatever, you increase your odds of having an accident; it's just whether or not those odds come up for you.
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Old 09-08-07, 11:51 AM
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Some risk experts break it down by hour of the activity. There are probably 1 death for every 5 million hours of sleep! Cycling can be dangerous anywhere that is why we need more advocacy! Problem is for newbies on two levels. First they are the most likely to die and second, they can easily be detered by all of the bike death hype.

COMPARATIVE RISK OF DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES

Estimates of Fatal Risk

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


fatalities
Activity per million hrs
-------- ---------------
Skydiving 128.71
General Aviation 15.58
On-road Motorcycling 8.80
Scuba Diving 1.98
Living (all causes of death) 1.53
Swimming 1.07
Snowmobiling .88
Passenger cars .47
Water skiing .28
Bicycling .26
Flying (scheduled domestic airlines) .15
Hunting .08
Cosmic Radiation from transcontinental flights .035
Home Living (active) .027
Traveling in a School Bus .022
Passenger Car Post-collision fire .017
Home Living, active & passive (sleeping) .014
Residential Fire .003


Compiled by Failure Analysis Associates, Inc. (Design News, 10-4-93)

March 1998
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Old 09-08-07, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by slagjumper View Post
Problem is for newbies on two levels. First they are the most likely to die and second, they can easily be detered by all of the bike death hype.
Strangely enough, this has not been the case for nearly all of the Washington County, OR deaths in the last 12-18 months. The cyclists were experienced, high-mileage roadies/commuters who had been riding in the places they died for many years. A couple of them were even involved with local cycling advocacy/safety endeavors. The only exception I can think of was a guy who was an experienced roadie and cyclocross racer, but was very new to the area. Now of the last 2 city deaths, one was riding the wrong way. The other was an experienced urban rider who got in the way of someone who was probably under the influence of some mood altering substance (they could never pin down what) and who also had a confirmed history of reckless driving. I think there has been a third this year, but I not recalling the details.
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