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Do you have any accident report related to tandem?

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Do you have any accident report related to tandem?

Old 10-14-08, 05:46 AM
  #1  
kaz1807
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Do you have any accident report related to tandem?

Hello, I am Kaz. My wife Tomo and I enjoy tandem ride in Japan.
You know, in most prefectures in Japan, tandem is prohibited.
Two prefectures (Nagano and Hyougo) are exceptions. They permit tandem officially.
In other words:

The general traffic law in Japan permits tandem.
The rule: 1 person per 1 seat.

In most prefecture, the local traffic rule don't permit tandem.
The rule: 1 person per 1 bike.

Around 1970 when each local assembly decided the local traffic rules, they didn't consider tandem bike, I think.

I am preparing to request the local assembly to change the rule to consider tandem.
Thus, I'd like to have evidences how tandem is safe.

* How many accidents related to tandem happened in your country in the past?
* What was reason of the accident?

Please let me know them if you have informations about tandem safety.

In my experiences, I have never found dangerous characteristic on tandem.
(Of course, we must be more careful at long steep downhill.)
I believe the such nonsense rule will be changed.
I need your help!

my best regards,
Tomo&Kaz in Japan
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Old 10-14-08, 06:19 AM
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Kaz-san:
While I have never heard of tandem-specific accident rate reporting, I have to believe that tandems are per-mile safer (less accidents) than single bikes. There are two reasons: one is that they are generally ridden by safer riders on average (older, more experienced); the other is that they require/encourage a more deliberate riding style, with more look-ahead and concern for stopping distances and so on.

However, I believe the law should be challenged on its merits, of which there are none. It is like banning cars with more than two seats.

Good luck.
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Old 10-14-08, 10:50 AM
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While tandems to have a longer stopping distance and larger cornering radius so do large trucks and busses. Jeeps have a greater tendency to roll. They might as well remove all motorized vehicles from the road because they all have a better potential for causing damage and injury than any bicycle.

If there is any difference between singles and tandems, I am sure it is negligible compared to the differences between the various motor vehicles that are currently allowed. I am sure that every way you can show that a tandem does not perform as "safely"(ie. stopping distance) as a single bike, you can find another vehicle that is allowed that performs even worse and also find ways that a tandem is safer than a single bicycle, such as being more visible.
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Old 10-14-08, 11:33 AM
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It's a flawed premise in the first place, as on-road bicycle fatalities and serious accidents per mile are miniscule in general and when they do occur, the majority are caused by motor vehicle operators which makes the type of bicycle a non-factor.

Now, when you consider how few tandems there are, it becomes statistically irrelevant... that is, to anyone other than the small number of folks who ride tandems that get injured or killed while cycling.
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Old 10-14-08, 12:19 PM
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Greg of Greg & Lisa here from Southern California. The last time I saw you was in Paris, just before PBP, I hope all is going well.

I would try contacting the League of American Bicyclists

http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/b...ocacy_tips.php

Data on bicycling is hard to come by, but if there is some tandem specific information I would think that they would know about it or at least where to look for it.

If you are at all interested in the Gold Rush (The California 1,200 kilometer Randonnee)

http://www.davisbikeclub.org/goldrush/

please put your name on the list as it is near full already. We would be happy to show you around a little of California if you would like to come out early.
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Old 10-14-08, 01:28 PM
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Kaz,

Consider asking them to standardize the definitions. The following are from the California Vehicle Code which does not limit the number of people riding a bike as long as they have an attached seat:

Bicycle

231. A bicycle is a device upon which any person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one or more wheels. Persons riding bicycles are subject to the provisions of this code specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5.


Riding on Bicycle

21204. (a) No person operating a bicycle upon a highway shall ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.

(b) No operator shall allow a person riding as a passenger, and no person shall ride as a passenger, on a bicycle upon a highway other than upon or astride a separate seat attached thereto. If the passenger is four years of age or younger, or weighs 40 pounds or less, the seat shall have adequate provision for retaining the passenger in place and for protecting the passenger from the moving parts of the bicycle.


Carrying Articles

21205. No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.

a couple of links to help you get some statistics:

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/bike/index.htm

Bicycles play an increasingly important role in our Nation's overall transportation system. Yet, in many communities, bicyclists feel squeezed out of the traffic mix, and many bike riders complain of high stress levels as they travel along the roadway. The source of this stress is well documented. U.S. Department of Transportation statistics show that more than 8,000 bicyclists died and 700,000 were injured in motor vehicle-related crashes in the past decade. More than one-third of all bicycle fatalities involve riders 5 to 20 years old, and 41 percent of nonfatal injuries occur to children under the age of 15.

http://www.nycc.org/ras/
Cycling Risk Assessment Study

Good luck
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Old 10-14-08, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by djedgar View Post
U.S. Department of Transportation statistics show that more than 8,000 bicyclists died and 700,000 were injured in motor vehicle-related crashes in the past decade. More than one-third of all bicycle fatalities involve riders 5 to 20 years old, and 41 percent of nonfatal injuries occur to children under the age of 15.
What years are covered by this data? Just off the cuff it sounds a little high, which makes me think it's a bit dated. Most of the documents linked from the sites were also a bit out of date. Not usual...
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Old 10-14-08, 10:22 PM
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Ohio gazaymas!
Personal motor vehicle/tandem accident statistics for us in over 220,000 miles of tandeming in the past 33+ years.
Motor vehicle driver was at fault and ticketed in each incident.
First one: Teenage driver making a left turn at a 4 way stop street after stopping and not seeing us. It was his first time driving solo and he hit us. Trip to emergency room and lots of damage to the tandem.
Second: Driver in pickup truck struck us from behind at 45 mph. Hit stoker in the back with truck mirror; broke mirror. We never fell down but stoker ended up in hospital. Driver claimed he did not see us. He had a restricted driver's license and no insurance. He had his driver's license suspended.
Have heard of the Japanese law prohibiting riding in tandem. Have also heard most Japanese tandem riders ignore that law.
Perhaps local bicyle clubs could start a campaign to change this unjust law. Also, letters to the editor of daily newspapers, petitions and the internet can have a positive effect to make the change.
Good luck!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 10-14-08, 11:02 PM
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Rules like that are usually made to prevent people riding single seat bikes from carrying passengers on the handlebars or standing on the pegs in an unsafe manner (e.g. not what the vehicle is designed for).





Two seat tandems however aren't materially different from a motorcycle carrying two passengers since they were designed to do so.



Safety record for tandem rider accidents are so small as to be statistically insignificant. Usually if they occur it would be on high speed downhill runs where a tire blows out or slides out. These type of incidents presumably would have a comparatively equivalent chance of happening on a single bike (perhaps even more so since single riders may ride more aggressively).


Good Luck!

.

Last edited by Stray8; 10-26-08 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 10-16-08, 02:03 AM
  #10  
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The following web site was updated June 2008, but it appears the collision stats came from 2003 report
http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/bike/bike_over.htm



This one studies 1975-2006
http://www.iihs.org/research/fatalit.../bicycles.html

Bicycles Fatality Facts 2006

A total of 770 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2006

Two percent of motor vehicle-related deaths are bicyclists. The most serious injuries among a majority of those killed are to the head...

Ninety-five percent of bicyclists killed in 2006 reportedly weren't wearing helmets.
...85 percent of bicycle deaths are persons 16 and older.

Twenty-four percent of bicyclists killed in 2006 had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.08 percent.

Deaths among bicyclists younger than 16 have gone down by 84 percent since 1975, while deaths among bicyclists 16 and older have more than doubled.

More than 7 times as many bicyclist deaths in 2006 were males compared with females... The highest rate of bicyclist deaths per million people occurred for 50-54 year-old males.

Many more bicyclists were killed in urban areas than in rural areas in 2006 (71 percent compared with 27 percent).

One-third of bicyclist deaths in 2006 occurred at intersections.

The following facts are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). This system does not track the difference between a single or tandem bicycle.

http://www.chp.ca.gov/switrs/#section3
California bicycle fatalities: 2005 - 132 (3.07% of total) ; 2006 - 155 (4.09% of total)

I think Stray9 meant the tandem numbers would NOT be statistically significant and I agree.
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Old 10-16-08, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by djedgar View Post
The following web site was updated June 2008, but it appears the collision stats came from 2003 report.
...that would explain it.
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Old 10-16-08, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by djedgar View Post
T
This one studies 1975-2006
http://www.iihs.org/research/fatalit.../bicycles.html

Bicycles Fatality Facts 2006

.......
Ninety-five percent of bicyclists killed in 2006 reportedly weren't wearing helmets.

Twenty-four percent of bicyclists killed in 2006 had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.08 percent.

.....
responsible cycling may not be as dangerous as some people think.

I wonder if we added the two stats above to those killed while ridding at night without proper lighting...
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Old 10-16-08, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cornucopia72 View Post
responsible cycling may not be as dangerous as some people think.

I wonder if we added the two stats above to those killed while ridding at night without proper lighting...
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, if you really dig down into cycling accident statistics "enthusiast" riders and "commuters" who log very high mileage represent a very, very small number of these statistics. When one of our brethern is killed it polarizes and energizes the community to be sure... as in so many of these cases they weren't doing anything wrong and from our view -- based on reading media reports in many cases -- were not at fault. However, these types of folks aren't the ones that dominate the statistics. Case in point, a cyclist from Miami, FL, recently passed after having a single bike accident while descending the very challenging Hogpen gap during the annual 6-Gap century. Once her accident is recorded in the FARS data base you'll be hard pressed to find it.

Instead, as you look at the FARS data you get a picture of adult males riding bikes as an alternative form of transportation -- either due to economic reasons or because they lost their license due to DUI convictions -- and find themselves riding before dawn or after dusk... in dark street clothes and usually in highly unpredicatable ways without lights and often times after 'having a few'.

However, when it comes to the community, law enforcement, etc... they don't parse these very different riders the way we might so the statistics are what they are and the cyclist who lost their life on 6-Gap can't be distinguished from the DUI motorist who lost his license that was riding home on his mountain bike at 12:30am only to be hit by another DUI motorist.
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Old 10-16-08, 09:44 AM
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Getting back to the original question, there's a start of an answer at http://www.truewheelers.org/research...aaa/04desc.htm. The analysis divides bikes into categories, of which tandems land in "other". "Other" includes trikes, and probably recumbents, as well as tandems. "Other" is under-represented in accident statistics relative to a household survey, by a factor of 2, suggesting that perhaps the "other" category is safer in general than the remaining categories (which are divided according to weight). Given that there were only 8 accidents involving "other", and we don't know what portion of them were tandems, the previous comments about lack of statistical significance are supported here. However it is harder to argue the other side - that tandems might be less safe - given this evidence. Based on the proportion of "other" bicycle-like conveyances, one would expect 16 or so in this sample size, and if they are significantly more dangerous, 24 might be a reasonable starting value. To only find 8 when expecting 24 is a low probability event.

This study is even more dated than any quoted on this thread so far (1970s).

If tandems represent the majority of "other", and the proportion of bicycles that are "other" remains at 4%, then we can safely say that not more than 4% of the bicycles on the road are tandem. What's more, most tandem riders also have single bikes (blind stokers being a notable exception). Which means even a lower fraction than 4% of bicycle-miles can be on tandems. So of the 700 accidents already quoted, one would expect well under 28 of them to be tandem-related, if tandems are no safer than regular bicycles. This is where it gets hard to have statistical significance.
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Old 10-16-08, 11:41 AM
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An interesting incident happened on one of my first tandem rides (as captain). My father was on the back of the bike when this occurred. As we took a right turn the front wheel began to slide out from under me. I had not noticed a particularly slimy patch of the road and had taken the corner a little too fast for this. The front tire however grabbed again right before the rear tire began to do the same thing. I am sure that I would have ended up on the ground had I been on my much shorter wheelbase single as both tires would have been sliding at the same time.

I think what is important to note is that there do not seem to be any easy to find statistics on this, with tandems being grouped with three wheelers and recumbents. If there were any validity to it the studies would be easier to find. Try looking for safety studies for motorcycles, ATVs, jet skis, and high centered vehicles and you'll see what I mean.
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Old 10-20-08, 05:26 AM
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summary

Hello,
thank you for your reply. I try to make a summary.

Accident rate of tandems:
* Any report regarding tandem-specific accident rate could not be found.
* The number of tandem accident is too few. It doesn't make sense as statistics.

I got good suggestions from this community.
For example:
* Tandem riders are usually experienced and less accident prone people.
* Most traffic accidents are caused from human factor than the type of the vehicle.
* Tandem bike is designed for two (or more). It is different from a single bike carrying two people.
...All suggestions reinforce "There is no reason to ban tandem".

I will use your sentences to negotiation about tandem liberation.

The police in Japan may have wrong understandings for the tandem.
We (Japanese tandem cyclist) will try to clear up the misunderstanding.

P.S. Greg,
Thank you to invite us to "Gold Rush Randonnee".
We can not attend such severe event today. We are casual cyclists now. i.e. we are not ready for 1200km
I already forwarded the information to several Audax organisation in Japan.
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Old 10-21-08, 10:38 AM
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Is this law enforced?

Originally Posted by kaz1807 View Post
Hello, I am Kaz. My wife Tomo and I enjoy tandem ride in Japan.
You know, in most prefectures in Japan, tandem is prohibited.
Two prefectures (Nagano and Hyougo) are exceptions. They permit tandem officially.
best regards,
Tomo&Kaz in Japan
Konnichi wa Kaz san,

Just wondering if the police really enforce the tandem restriction? I spent 5 years cycling on my tandem in Yamaguchi and Hiroshima prefectures and was never stopped by the police. On several occasions I even stopped to ask directions from the police, and not a word was said about cycling on my tandem. Do you think the lack of enforcement was due to me being a foreigner? I hope to move back to Japan someday, and do a lot more tandem cycling there. I have to say that Japan has been one of the best places Iíve ever lived for cycling.
Iím sorry that I donít have any accidents statistics to help your cause. Best of luck changing the law!!!

Cheers,
Geocyclist
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Old 10-24-08, 03:32 AM
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re: Is this law enforced?

Hello Geocyclist-san,

I never tell you to stop riding a tandem in Japan.
At the same time, I should not invite cyclist in Japan to tandem world.

No cyclist has ever been punished because of tandem.
Practically, you CAN ride a tandem in JAPAN.

No policeman cares about tandem bike.
I suppose,
* They don't know the rules.
* They have never been directed to control tandems.
* They think such rules are too minor issue to keep the road safety.

I don't know if the person who made the rule wanted to eliminate tandem from the road or just forgot to consider tandem.

However, there is still the rule that can be interpreted as tandem ban.
Once I ask police about tandem, he can only say "Riding a bike by two or more person is prohibited according to the rule.".

Because of the such rule,
* We might have disadvantage on a traffic accident.
* We cannot participate in official cycling event.

Thus we try to change the unfair rule.
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