Saturday, 28 December 2013

Interesting crash stats

I just happened to be perusing the bike plan of a neighbouring council when I found this paragraph:

Fifty seven (57) of the recorded bicycle crashes involved a collision between a bicycle and another vehicle, predominantly cars. The most common types of crashes recorded were:
A motor vehicle side swiping a bicycle (12);
A motor vehicle emerging from a driveway or footpath impacting with a bicycle (10);
A bicycle and another vehicle impacting from adjacent directions at intersections (9);
A bicycle and another vehicle impacting from opposite direction (7);
A bicycle colliding with a vehicle door being opened (7); and
A bicycle losing control on a carriageway (4).
There were no recorded fatalities during this period.
The above crash types give some indication to the main issues that cyclists experience in the Leichhardt LGA with side swiping (left turn across straight through cyclists), driveway exiting and intersection crashes the most prominent.

This data is now 6 or 7 years old, but it matches with more recent UK research that suggests that motorists are at fault in the majority of bike crashes. In this sample, cyclists are clearly at fault in 4 out of 57 crashes - or 7%. The rest are the sort of stuff I narrowly avoid every month - motorists not paying attention when opening doors; motorists in a hurry overtaking cyclists and then immediately turning left in front of them (or into them); motorists turning across oncoming traffic choosing to not give way and hitting cyclists coming in the opposite direction, or screw ups at intersections when motorists go through roundabouts, stop signs or give way signs without giving way to a cyclist that has right of way.


Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that the 4 cases where the bicycle was clearly at fault were the "A bicycle losing control on a carriageway" crashes. I'd love to see the crash reports. The only time I've had a crash after losing control was when my front wheel dropped into a tram track and I hit the road. I was riding into and across the tram tracks because the road was blocked by double-parked cars, some of them doing doing the timed door-opening trick - timed to get a cyclist.

The key word for me is "carriageway" aka "road". The cyclists I know who ride on the road are experienced riders who can handle their bike and who are very aware of what cars are doing around them. The don't lose control.

Could it be that the "bicycle losing control" category includes those who have lost control after being doored or side-swiped or run over?


Anonymous said...

As you are all too well aware, who is at fault does not make a difference to the outcome in terms of who feels the pain. While all drivers do need to take care and look twice (I recently did not see a cyclist as I was about to go into a roundabout but fortunately my wife did, and I was going slow enough to stop in time, the cyclist was watching me closely and ready to avoid me).

If you choose that mode of transport, or even the motorized form do not assume a driver will see you even when looking directly at you. Once you have that principle mastered, you should fhave a much safer ride.

Keep it shiny side up and happy new year!