Friday, May 7, 2010

Is cycling more dangerous than driving?

KETV aired an article last night that include an interview with several Omaha transportation cyclists.  While going through the responses to the article on the KETV website and the KETV facebook page, I ran across this article.  Tell use what you think in the comments.

There is absolutely no way that I can furnish definite proof that bicycling is a safe activity. Those of us who bicycle on a regular basis while following the traffic laws know that it is a safe activity from years of experience, but we are also aware that other cyclists have frequent accidents, we assume due to different behavior. Nor can I do anything to reconcile my various sources of statistics. However, I think I can easily establish that cycling is much less dangerous that what the fearmongers insist and that it has compensating benefits which are more important than the risks involved. I think you will agree when you finish reading this that bicycling is very far from being the dangerous activity that the fearmongers like to make it appear.


Seth said...

Wow, I'm reading these comments, some people genuinely hate cyclists. One driver would rather hit a cyclist then get rear ended by another car... insurance would cover him 100%, but hitting a cyclist makes the driver at fault.

This spring I've only been horned down once, an excercise-commute hating SUV passing within one foot of my bike, blasting his horn and yelling something obscene I can't even recall. He had two lanes, but he chose to play chicken with me.

I'll admit I look like a dork. I wear a helmet, reflective ANSI class II vest, and a very bright tail light. Most people respect my attempt to remain visible, and pass well around me.

But dangerous drivers is why we need cycling lanes or wide shoulders.

Jim Nariel said...

Great article. Cycling has to be more dangerious - less protection

BlogDaCzech said...

I think I'm a bit pampered as I seldom see anything abusive from drivers. In the last year, one guy got irritated with me, but it was because I did something wrong.

Sometimes drivers don't understand that sidewalks and paths are more dangerous than traffic, but I didn't realize that either, until I started frequent biking.

As for the article that Biker Bob mentioned, it contains some very good information and insights. I believe we as bike commuters have a responsibility to lead by example and follow the laws, ride predictably, and show courtesy and understanding to the majority of the drivers who are quite reasonable, but who are not always used to bikes being there.

I think the distracted drivers are a much bigger real threat than the 'blow hard' who claims he wants to run us off the road. The 'blow hard' is usually venting his/her own frustration in a commentary.

Maybe the biggest threat is the 'blow hard' who is text responding to a blog via cell phone while driving his/her 5,000 pound truck.

AOJules said...

Several studies have shown that more cyclists on the road actually results in FEWER accidents. The number car vs. bike incidents in Copenhagen is astoundingly small, even though there are a huge number of people on bikes there.
Power in numbers, people!!

dale said...

What's the old saying, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. 8-)

Take away for me from the article is that we are safer and get more respect if we follow the rules of the road.

I think there is also room for wisdom, e.g. choosing the time we ride if possible; route selection; etc. And use intuition, e.g. choosing a different route some days.

Living the cycling lifestyle he believed in, the author Ken Kiefer paid the ultimate price when he was killed while riding his bike by a drunk driver in 2003.

Life is dangerous.
We can die at anytime.
However we spend our life,
we should be willing to die doing it.

Enjoy the Ride (of Life)!