Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shocking Arizona Statistics

Some folks on the BikeSpeak forum are still insisting that I'm advocating unsafe cycling practices. Some even have agreed with the non-biking "experts" that the "fact" that "3.8% of bicyclists hit from the rear" is a negligible statistic that we really can't do anything about.

I've alway been suspicious of the 3.8% "fact." It never seemed to track right with my personal, anecdotal experience driving and biking in Phoenix. So, I went to the AZ Bike Law Blog - 2009 NHTSA Statistics.

There were a total of 25 car/bicycle fatalities in Arizona in 2009. I confirmed that in 11 of those accidents the rider was hit from behind. There are 3 other accidents which are sort of sketchy about what actually happened because, of course, the bicyclist is dead and there are no other witnesses. In only one of those 11 accidents did I find that the bicyclist was at fault because he swerved into traffic (although the reason he swerved is unclear). In three of the those fatal accidents the bike rider was in a marked bike lane.

Okay, so if you discount those three accidents in which my brief research could not discover the accident particulars, and even take out that one where the bicyclist swerved and "was at fault," that STILL leaves 10 accidents out of 25 when the bicyclist was in the "right" --- even riding in the bike lane on three occasions --- and was hit from behind.

But no matter WHO was at fault, that statistic means 44% of the bicyclists killed in Arizona in 2009 were hit from behind.

Does ANYBODY STILL want to argue with my contention that sometimes yer just flat safer on the sidewalk?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Most traffic laws were created by people who drive, but don't bike; as a result those laws do not take into account the special vulnerability of bicyclists, pedestrians and even motorcyclists.

Hey! My fire extinguisher is still FULLY CHARGED!

1 comment:

  1. AZBC I think most of us got our statistical info from John Forester "Effective Cycling", see 6th. ed. p. 270 for example where he says 4% of car-bike collisions are due to the overtaking motorist.

    After reading your post today, looks like I'm getting a rear view mirror.