Author Topic: Biking is dangerous  (Read 8101 times)

Eric

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2017, 05:14:31 PM »
This is a good thread for the anti-mustachian sub section, considering all the anti-mustachian posts.  You guys realize that this is where we MAKE FUN of anti-mustachian behavior, not condone it, right?

paddedhat, you're making a fool of yourself.  Cars have the duty to yield to cyclists, no matter their choice of clothing.  Cyclists would also be wise to make themselves as visible as possible, but again, no matter their choice of clothing, it's still a car driver's fault if they hit them while the cyclist is following the law.  To say otherwise is to blame the victim.  If you can't understand that, then you probably should have your license revoked.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe."  -- Einstein

Hargrove

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2017, 05:42:51 PM »
"Drivers should make good choices; bikers have rights"
"Bikers should make good choices; driver's don't/can't always"

Why on Earth don't we agree these statements are both true?

On a personal level, you may want to avoid particularly risky blind-curve roads where people drive 50mph if you're a cyclist.

On a social policy level, you may want to advocate drivers be held accountable for the rules of the road they routinely ignore in their danger wagons.

This thread is a terrifying metaphor for a political argument.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2017, 07:17:33 PM »
"Drivers should make good choices; bikers have rights"
"Bikers should make good choices; driver's don't/can't always"

Why on Earth don't we agree these statements are both true?

I do!  It's what I've been trying to say this whole thread.

Well, that and 'the terrors of cycling are rather overstated'.  Telling people that they've got to dress up like traffic cones or they'll be at fault when a negligent driver executes them in a fit of ragey street justice is just crazy over the top silliness.


Again, I'm totally for wearing stuff that will keep you safe.  I advise people to:
- always use lights, reflectors, reflective clothing if cycling at night or dusk.
- try to wear flouro clothing if it's rainy/overcast . . . it really does make you more visible.
- on a bright sunny day there's little need for blinky lights (but if they make you feel better, bring 'em), and you can wear whatever the hell colour you want (with the caveat that I usually keep a bright coloured rain jacket or gilet in my back pocket in case the weather turns suddenly).
- always wear a helmet*




*I do believe that you should always wear a helmet and always wear one myself.  Yes, they probably won't do much at all to protect you if you crash at 40-50kph since the only test they have to pass (in the US anyway) is a two meter drop.  Yes, studies have shown that wearing a helmet means cars will leave less space for you, and helmets certainly won't do a damned thing to protect you from said car.  Concrete benefits though:
- They do apparently prevent some head injury in 60 - 90% of bike crashes.
- Avoid having the 'Did you know you're on a bike and are going to die?' conversation (from people who last pedaled a bike with training wheels on the sidewalk forty years ago every time you stop to pee)
- It's nice to have a place to put your sunglasses.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2017, 07:38:03 PM »
So, the next car behind me is piloted by an 90 year old woman who didn't see the pale gray rider on the pale road, in the dimness of a very overcast day, until it was too late and now the biker is dead. Who gives a shit that it's technically 100% her fault?

I wholeheartedly agree with this. It really doesn't matter to me who was at fault if I end up a quadriplegic because of a bike-car collision. The damage is done and can't be undone. My fault? Still a quad. The driver's fault? Yep...still a quad. That's why I do everything I can to keep myself as safe as possible and as visible as possible when I ride my bicycle or my motorcycle. Placing blame doesn't change the outcome.

I also don't walk down dark alleys by myself (or with others) at night. Why take the risk?

Should victims be blamed? Generally, no. But sometimes they could have been a lot smarter and better at risk mitigation.

Optimiser

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #54 on: August 17, 2017, 07:51:25 PM »
"Drivers should make good choices; bikers have rights"
"Bikers should make good choices; driver's don't/can't always"

Why on Earth don't we agree these statements are both true?

I do!  It's what I've been trying to say this whole thread.

Well, that and 'the terrors of cycling are rather overstated'.  Telling people that they've got to dress up like traffic cones or they'll be at fault when a negligent driver executes them in a fit of ragey street justice is just crazy over the top silliness.


Again, I'm totally for wearing stuff that will keep you safe.  I advise people to:
- always use lights, reflectors, reflective clothing if cycling at night or dusk.
- try to wear flouro clothing if it's rainy/overcast . . . it really does make you more visible.
- on a bright sunny day there's little need for blinky lights (but if they make you feel better, bring 'em), and you can wear whatever the hell colour you want (with the caveat that I usually keep a bright coloured rain jacket or gilet in my back pocket in case the weather turns suddenly).
- always wear a helmet*




*I do believe that you should always wear a helmet and always wear one myself.  Yes, they probably won't do much at all to protect you if you crash at 40-50kph since the only test they have to pass (in the US anyway) is a two meter drop.  Yes, studies have shown that wearing a helmet means cars will leave less space for you, and helmets certainly won't do a damned thing to protect you from said car.  Concrete benefits though:
- They do apparently prevent some head injury in 60 - 90% of bike crashes.
- Avoid having the 'Did you know you're on a bike and are going to die?' conversation (from people who last pedaled a bike with training wheels on the sidewalk forty years ago every time you stop to pee)
- It's nice to have a place to put your sunglasses.

This.

index

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #55 on: August 17, 2017, 09:39:02 PM »
I commuted by bicycle for almost 4 years. 6 miles round trip in a designated bike lane. One morning I hit a patch gravel that was spilled all over the road from an adjacent construction area. I slides into traffic and it a truck that was moving slowly stuck in traffic. Had traffic been moving that day there is a good chance I would have been killed. Bicycles are just like motor bikes. Physics are against you. Even if you take all the precautions, your chances of getting into an accident are similar to having a fender bender. Only difference is the biker will always lose. GuitarStv has a higher % chance of dieing on his commute that the person surrounded by 3000lbs of metal. Hi vis gear lessens that chance, but it is still a risky activity. You can argue your rights as a biker all day but it doesn't change reality.

Optimiser

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2017, 10:01:02 PM »
I commuted by bicycle for almost 4 years. 6 miles round trip in a designated bike lane. One morning I hit a patch gravel that was spilled all over the road from an adjacent construction area. I slides into traffic and it a truck that was moving slowly stuck in traffic. Had traffic been moving that day there is a good chance I would have been killed. Bicycles are just like motor bikes. Physics are against you. Even if you take all the precautions, your chances of getting into an accident are similar to having a fender bender. Only difference is the biker will always lose. GuitarStv has a higher % chance of dieing on his commute that the person surrounded by 3000lbs of metal. Hi vis gear lessens that chance, but it is still a risky activity. You can argue your rights as a biker all day but it doesn't change reality.

Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
As it turns out, riding a bike extends your lifespan (due to health increases) by between 20 and 100 times more than it subtracts due to statistical risk of crashes. Ride a bike, and you can expect to live a lot longer, itís as simple as that. Add in the cost savings from cycling, and the decision becomes even more obvious.
Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
The risk-fearing Complainypants types always focus on the negative consequences of any possible activity.

What theyíre missing is the risk of not engaging in that activity. That risk is just as real, and itís usually larger. But itís a more hidden and less scary risk, so they take it, and over time they lose.
Source: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/07/safety-is-an-expensive-illusion/

Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
Of all the objections I get from people about why they canít ride a bike to get around, perhaps the most frustrating is the claim that bicycling is too dangerous. According to this line of reasoning, we all need the protection of a two-tonne steel cage in order to survive the trip to the office or the grocery store.

Iíve always felt that this was complete bullshit
Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
Riding a bike is not more dangerous than driving a car. In fact, it is much, much safer:

Under even the most pessimistic of assumptions:
Net effect of driving a car at 65mph for one hour: Dying 20 minutes sooner. (18 seconds of life lost per mile)
Net effect of riding a bike at 12mph for one hour: Living 2 hours and 36 minutes longer (about 13 minutes of life gained per mile)
See calculations and discussion here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/

Also: Cycle commuting was associated with a lower risk of CVD, cancer, and all cause mortality. That includes the risk of dying in a biking accident.

JLee

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2017, 10:18:10 PM »
Everyone I know who has commuted to work for a regular period of time has gotten hit.

All of them got hit while doing lawful things (not being the jackasses that run through stop signs or pull up on the right of cars to get through intersections.)

Thankfully none of them have been killed or had seriously life altering injuries. Many of them do have seemingly minor injuries that will plague them the rest of their lives.

Wear a helmet.  Use bright lights.  Consider a reflective vest.   But consider that all of these things you may still get hit.

My brother was hit three times in about a year when he was commuting 100% by bike. It definitely happens.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #58 on: August 18, 2017, 06:27:30 AM »
Everyone I know who has commuted to work for a regular period of time has gotten hit.

All of them got hit while doing lawful things (not being the jackasses that run through stop signs or pull up on the right of cars to get through intersections.)

Thankfully none of them have been killed or had seriously life altering injuries. Many of them do have seemingly minor injuries that will plague them the rest of their lives.

Wear a helmet.  Use bright lights.  Consider a reflective vest.   But consider that all of these things you may still get hit.

My brother was hit three times in about a year when he was commuting 100% by bike. It definitely happens.

I've been hit by cars three times in my life while cycling (all in the first few years of starting to commute by bike).  Two of those times I was cycling on the sidewalk (very, very unsafe practice - this is something I don't do any more.  It's also something that inexperienced cyclists tend to incorrectly perceive as safer.).  One time I was cycling on the road wearing my neon orange jacket, with reflectors and running a flashing light.  If a car wants to hit you, they're going to.  If a driver is busy playing candy crush, no amount of protective gear is going to make him see and avoid you.  (Fun side note - the driver ran off immediately after the accident 2/3 times.)

Experience makes things much safer than clothing/blinking lights. I can read drivers better now.  I have adopted behaviour that prevents me from getting into bad situations most of the time while cycling.  I very rarely even have a close call with cars . . . but I also don't dress like a traffic cone anymore when I'm heading to work on a sunny day.

farfromfire

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #59 on: August 18, 2017, 08:35:58 AM »
This is a good thread for the anti-mustachian sub section, considering all the anti-mustachian posts.  You guys realize that this is where we MAKE FUN of anti-mustachian behavior, not condone it, right?

paddedhat, you're making a fool of yourself.  Cars have the duty to yield to cyclists, no matter their choice of clothing.  Cyclists would also be wise to make themselves as visible as possible, but again, no matter their choice of clothing, it's still a car driver's fault if they hit them while the cyclist is following the law.  To say otherwise is to blame the victim.  If you can't understand that, then you probably should have your license revoked.
+1

Warlord1986

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #60 on: August 18, 2017, 09:57:31 AM »
This is a good thread for the anti-mustachian sub section, considering all the anti-mustachian posts.  You guys realize that this is where we MAKE FUN of anti-mustachian behavior, not condone it, right?

paddedhat, you're making a fool of yourself.  Cars have the duty to yield to cyclists, no matter their choice of clothing.  Cyclists would also be wise to make themselves as visible as possible, but again, no matter their choice of clothing, it's still a car driver's fault if they hit them while the cyclist is following the law.  To say otherwise is to blame the victim.  If you can't understand that, then you probably should have your license revoked.
+1

+2

sehr

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #61 on: August 19, 2017, 09:36:20 AM »
This is a good thread for the anti-mustachian sub section, considering all the anti-mustachian posts.  You guys realize that this is where we MAKE FUN of anti-mustachian behavior, not condone it, right?

paddedhat, you're making a fool of yourself.  Cars have the duty to yield to cyclists, no matter their choice of clothing.  Cyclists would also be wise to make themselves as visible as possible, but again, no matter their choice of clothing, it's still a car driver's fault if they hit them while the cyclist is following the law.  To say otherwise is to blame the victim.  If you can't understand that, then you probably should have your license revoked.
+1

+2

Yeah, I originally posted just looking for a bit of support because I was feeling discouraged. I'm a fairly cautious rider, and I of course wear a helmet. I only ride on the street (so far) in bright sunny weather.

I've driven on the street since I started posting, and noticed that while the road I was on does become very narrow without a shoulder or sidewalk, it's lined by houses and has a speed limit of 35. Given what some people are posting, they are pretty much saying that the people on it have no right to leave their driveways unless they are in a car because they'll be going less than the speed limit. Is that really the society we want to live in?

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #62 on: August 19, 2017, 09:44:39 AM »
On a per mile basis, cycling is safer than walking.  Actually if you remove the (surprisingly large) number of deaths involving drunk cyclists the numbers get even better.  Please continue to enjoy your bike rides like the great number of us who ride regularly - without buying into the overblown fears that have been raised in this thread, or by that (probably well meaning but wrong) old woman who rattled your confidence.

Imma

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #63 on: August 19, 2017, 11:36:00 AM »
This thread is kind of freaking me out, I am buying a road bike from a friend soon and was going to start getting into cycling :/

It's not that scary in real life. Granted, I live in a more cycling-friendly country than the USA, but I commute on bike to work every single day on relatively dangerous rural roads. There's a very small chance that you'll get in a bad accident, but you have that risk driving a car, too. You can make common sense choices to make that risk very small.

I always make sure my bike lights are on and working and I use bright lights, not the cheapest type of lights (not this type: https://www.kettingbeschermer.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/9200000022663511-e1474720950407.jpg  but something like this https://media1.rosebikes.de/product/1850/1/8/1886805_1.xgw6h9wxia.jpg  )  . The lights on your bike aren't just there to make you visible for cars, but are also there for you so you see where you are going and don't ride into a pothole or over roadkill. Someone up in the thread mentioned fancy lights that make your bike look like a christmas tree - I would advise against them. It might be the latest bike fashion, but you will distract people when your bike looks like you're in the Disney Electrical Parade. Go for bright and plain lights so drivers don't have to wonder what the hell is moving over there. Try not to wear head-to-toe black or camouflage gear. Many backpacks these days come with reflective strips for added visibility. Make sure you stick to your local rules for cycling and don't be an asshole and play Tour the France on a public road.

dcamnc

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #64 on: August 19, 2017, 01:16:12 PM »
I used to compete in 50 and 100k's (won a 100k race one time, and still hold a bunch of strava KOM records), and rode to work. I was all in with cycling. After a bunch of close calls, and a friend/teammate being hit, I quit riding. Totally quit, sold everything. Biking is great, and I loved it, but it wasn't worth my life. I picked up running at the park instead. I'm not trying to discourage folks, but I found out that it wasn't for me.

BTDretire

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #65 on: August 19, 2017, 07:45:36 PM »
This thread is kind of freaking me out, I am buying a road bike from a friend soon and was going to start getting into cycling :/

 Just ride like you are what you are, a small, hard to see object moving at 25% the speed of a
huge chunk of steel with a driver who might not see you, or might turn his head just at the
wrong moment.
 You need to make yourself as visible as possible with lights, and a vest. You need a mirror
and you need to always be aware of any cars approaching you.
  Drop any arrogant idea that since you have the right of way that you don't need to pay attention.
 Don't do any moves that are completely legal, but could get you hurt. Pick your routes with safety in mind.

Imma

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #66 on: August 20, 2017, 06:08:19 AM »
I used to compete in 50 and 100k's (won a 100k race one time, and still hold a bunch of strava KOM records), and rode to work. I was all in with cycling. After a bunch of close calls, and a friend/teammate being hit, I quit riding. Totally quit, sold everything. Biking is great, and I loved it, but it wasn't worth my life. I picked up running at the park instead. I'm not trying to discourage folks, but I found out that it wasn't for me.

It's a shame you had to quit entirely. I'd miss it so much. I guess track / MTB / cross isn't for you? They are far less dangerous than road cycling when it comes to traffic accidents, although of course competative cycling is always risky.

dcamnc

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #67 on: August 20, 2017, 06:20:38 AM »
I used to compete in 50 and 100k's (won a 100k race one time, and still hold a bunch of strava KOM records), and rode to work. I was all in with cycling. After a bunch of close calls, and a friend/teammate being hit, I quit riding. Totally quit, sold everything. Biking is great, and I loved it, but it wasn't worth my life. I picked up running at the park instead. I'm not trying to discourage folks, but I found out that it wasn't for me.

It's a shame you had to quit entirely. I'd miss it so much. I guess track / MTB / cross isn't for you? They are far less dangerous than road cycling when it comes to traffic accidents, although of course competative cycling is always risky.

Yeah, I've kicked around the idea of getting a cross bike and riding some fire roads; I won't be riding on the streets anymore though.

kayvent

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #68 on: August 20, 2017, 09:02:50 AM »
I don't blame you dcamnc. Where I live, I feel unsafe even driving because of some motorists. I bike but choose to both bike and drive less for safety (inspired by an MMM article that said "There is no need for a child to ever be part of a fender-bender in a shopping mall parking lot, because there is no real reason for anyone, parent or young child, to ever visit a dedicated shopping mall.")

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #69 on: August 21, 2017, 06:12:45 AM »
Don't do any moves that are completely legal, but could get you hurt.

Literally anything you do on a bicycle qualifies for 'could get you hurt'.  You could be cycling in a nerf coated children's playground wearing football gear, get startled by your own ridiculous reflection off a puddle and fall down/get hurt.  As has been mentioned earlier . . . a lot of stuff that feels safe on a bike is actually more dangerous than the action that feels scary (cycling on the sidewalk vs on the road for example, cycling as far to the right of a lane as possible which puts you in the danger zone for people in parked cars opening doors, etc).

If you're interested in real tips to cycle safely (rather than meaningless platitudes), check out websites like this:  http://bicyclesafe.com/.  There are a number of common dangerous scenarios and strategies for avoiding them/minimizing danger.  Sometimes the safest course of action is not the one that you would have originally picked.  If you have a close encounter with a car, take some time at home that night and work back and through exactly what happened and why it happened with an eye towards doing something to prevent it in the future.  This type of incident should be pretty rare . . . 

index

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #70 on: August 21, 2017, 08:36:16 AM »
I commuted by bicycle for almost 4 years. 6 miles round trip in a designated bike lane. One morning I hit a patch gravel that was spilled all over the road from an adjacent construction area. I slides into traffic and it a truck that was moving slowly stuck in traffic. Had traffic been moving that day there is a good chance I would have been killed. Bicycles are just like motor bikes. Physics are against you. Even if you take all the precautions, your chances of getting into an accident are similar to having a fender bender. Only difference is the biker will always lose. GuitarStv has a higher % chance of dieing on his commute that the person surrounded by 3000lbs of metal. Hi vis gear lessens that chance, but it is still a risky activity. You can argue your rights as a biker all day but it doesn't change reality.

Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
As it turns out, riding a bike extends your lifespan (due to health increases) by between 20 and 100 times more than it subtracts due to statistical risk of crashes. Ride a bike, and you can expect to live a lot longer, itís as simple as that. Add in the cost savings from cycling, and the decision becomes even more obvious.
Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
The risk-fearing Complainypants types always focus on the negative consequences of any possible activity.

What theyíre missing is the risk of not engaging in that activity. That risk is just as real, and itís usually larger. But itís a more hidden and less scary risk, so they take it, and over time they lose.
Source: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/07/safety-is-an-expensive-illusion/

Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
Of all the objections I get from people about why they canít ride a bike to get around, perhaps the most frustrating is the claim that bicycling is too dangerous. According to this line of reasoning, we all need the protection of a two-tonne steel cage in order to survive the trip to the office or the grocery store.

Iíve always felt that this was complete bullshit
Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
Riding a bike is not more dangerous than driving a car. In fact, it is much, much safer:

Under even the most pessimistic of assumptions:
Net effect of driving a car at 65mph for one hour: Dying 20 minutes sooner. (18 seconds of life lost per mile)
Net effect of riding a bike at 12mph for one hour: Living 2 hours and 36 minutes longer (about 13 minutes of life gained per mile)
See calculations and discussion here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/

Also: Cycle commuting was associated with a lower risk of CVD, cancer, and all cause mortality. That includes the risk of dying in a biking accident.

With all due respect to MMM, that article is bull crap. He took this statistic:

Quote
Dividing 623 into 9,000,000,000, we end up with a cycling fatality rate of about 6.9 per 100 million miles. According to the NHTSA, that same statistic is 1.11 for cars in 2010.

and did everything he could think of to debunk it. Like this:

Quote
But weíre not done yet. First of all, letís compare a cyclist at a comfortable commuting pace of 12MPH,  with a car driver on the interstate at 75MPH. Now, the risk per hour is equal, because the car is covering 6.2 times more miles than the cyclist. So the accident risk per hour of the two activities is roughly equal. Many will complain about this comparison, but it is valid in the sense that cars encourage people to cover ridiculous amounts of ground each year for no good reason Ė an average of 15,000 miles per driver per year. So the average driver ends up much more likely to die than the average cyclist in a given year.

What kind of utter BS is this? How about compare apples to apples, local commuting by bike vs. automobile. In urban areas with a speed limit of 35 mph or less ~7k people die per year in auto accidents. ~600 people die on the same roads on a bike. When you bike to work in the morning, how many other bikers do you see? How many autos? I bet the ratio is way more than 12 autos for every bike you see.  Also take into account if you wear your seat belt, unlike 47% of drivers, your chances of being involved in a fatal accident on a road with a 35 mph would go down tremendously.

Unlike the BS article, the numbers don't lie.   



Optimiser

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #71 on: August 21, 2017, 01:40:24 PM »
Also take into account if you wear your seat belt, unlike 47% of drivers, your chances of being involved in a fatal accident on a road with a 35 mph would go down tremendously.

Unlike the BS article, the numbers don't lie.

Self-reported seatbelt use among adults in the United States increased steadily between 2002 and 2010, with the national prevalence reaching 87% in 2010.

Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437512000977

MilesTeg

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #72 on: August 22, 2017, 12:01:25 PM »
I don't know what your local laws are.  Here, if a driver is operating his motor vehicle at speeds exceeding his ability to see and react to obstacles on the road . . . the driver is at fault for the accident because he was driving dangerously.  If a car had a blown engine, was stopped ahead on the road, and paddedhat plowed into the back of it he would be at fault too.

I would be interested to see the part where it says that you're allowed to drive your car into the back of slow moving farm vehicles, construction vehicles, horse drawn carriages, etc. without fault in your jurisdiction.


Again . . . can you post the law indicating that it is illegal/unsafe to operate a bicycle below posted speed limits?  Aside from a few laws regarding restricted highways/roadways (which of course, should be followed) I've never seen one before.

Like I said, the law is very inconsistent. In my area, only bikes are allowed in places where other similar vehicles are expressly forbidden.

I can't ride my ATV, my scooter, my golf cart or generally any other vehicle unable to go more than 25MPH on any roadway with a speed limit greater than 35MPH. And I must be well marked even where I can operate that kind of vehicle. And I must yield to all traffic.

I can't drive my tractor on a road greater than 35MPH, and I can only do so during daylight hours and I must yield to all traffic.

I can't drive my automobile 25MPH on a 75MPH roadway because I want to hypermile. Hell, I can't even drive my automobile 85MPH on a 75MPH roadway if I am in the left lane and the flow of traffic in that lane is faster than I am going...

These are all sensible laws. Large speed differentials on roadways is inherently dangerous regardless of the type of vehicles involved. Yet is all places I am aware of, laws that prevent the mixing of the two don't apply to bikes.

You seem to have a blind spot when it comes to how humans actually act. Human abilities are limited, and prone to error regardless of skill. Even the most highly competent, highly skilled, professionally trained drivers make mistakes. If you are a good driver, you learn to and conduct your self as a defensive driver. If you are a good biker, to learn to and conduct yourself as a defensive biker. Intentionally making yourself a hazard to other traffic (e.g. by traveling well below the prevailing speed, regardless of what vehicle you are in) is a truly stupid thing to do regardless of it's legal status.

FWIW: I commute by bike most days. Where necessary, even in car lanes where it's sensible (streets where bikes can keep up with the general flow of traffic).


MilesTeg

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #73 on: August 22, 2017, 12:02:44 PM »

Should victims be blamed? Generally, no. But sometimes they could have been a lot smarter and better at risk mitigation.

Yeah the comparison between victims of intentional crimes is nonsensical. Drivers don't intentionally try to hit bikers. This is entirely different from rapists who intentionally assault someone, or thieves who intentionally steal from someone.


GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #74 on: August 22, 2017, 02:42:06 PM »
You seem to have a blind spot when it comes to how humans actually act. Human abilities are limited, and prone to error regardless of skill. Even the most highly competent, highly skilled, professionally trained drivers make mistakes. If you are a good driver, you learn to and conduct your self as a defensive driver. If you are a good biker, to learn to and conduct yourself as a defensive biker. Intentionally making yourself a hazard to other traffic is a truly stupid thing to do regardless of it's legal status.

Well, yeah.  Making yourself a hazard to other traffic is a truly stupid thing to do.  It's not something I've ever advocated.

(e.g. by traveling well below the prevailing speed, regardless of what vehicle you are in)

This is where we're coming into disagreement.

It's pretty rare that cyclists can maintain and hold 30 miles per hour.  30 mph is the default speed limit in most cities, and it only gets higher when you leave them.  By your logic then, cycling is a stupid thing to do because no cyclist can travel at the arbitrary speed limits set for cars anywhere.  This is the kind of flawed reasoning that convinces people to cycle on sidewalks rather than on the road despite the significantly higher risks.  (The road is what most people tend to call 'car lanes' as you like to refer to them.)

My disagreement with you is that a cyclist in his lane always causes significant hazard to the cars around him.  There is a difference between a car/tractor/quad and a bike.  A bicycle is a pretty small and unassuming vehicle.  Most cars will pass a cyclist without even leaving their lane.  It's difficult to understand how this is a significant hazard.







Should victims be blamed? Generally, no. But sometimes they could have been a lot smarter and better at risk mitigation.

Yeah the comparison between victims of intentional crimes is nonsensical. Drivers don't intentionally try to hit bikers. This is entirely different from rapists who intentionally assault someone, or thieves who intentionally steal from someone.


While you may not have intended to kill someone when you set off, it was your intentional choice to drive recklessly/carelessly.  The vehemence with which people are defending their need to drive recklessly in this thread is getting silly.  All I've been pleading in this entire thread is that you operate your vehicle in a safe manner.  This might mean that you don't go for the high score in candy crush while blasting down the road.  It might mean that you slow your vehicle slightly when coming into a hard blind corner.  It might mean that you don't pass another car blind.  This is not controversial stuff.

All that I can do is plea.  You're in control of the dangerous vehicle.

scottish

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #75 on: August 22, 2017, 05:17:26 PM »
I'm with GuitarStv on this.   Every time someone says:   'There was a bike in the road, she was hard to see, so it's her fault if she gets hit'

You should just substitute  'concrete block' for 'bike'.

You know,  "There was a concrete block in the road, and I couldn't see it, so it's the block's fault that I hit it with my car."

"I came over the top of the hill, and there was a concrete block in the road and my car was wrecked.   Damn that concrete for wrecking my car!"

When you're driving, you're responsible to drive safely so that you *don't* hit things.

kayvent

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #76 on: August 22, 2017, 05:37:29 PM »
I am an environmentalist of sorts and an optimist eternally.

I would like to believe that we are early adopters of both low-carbon footprint travelling and living close to where we work. City living is a thing in Europe and is only not a thing in Canada and the USA because we had rampant crime in cities in the twentieth century. As that grows and cycling in tandem grows, I hope it is safer to bike but I acknowledge the reality that different areas are drastically different and many are extremely hazardous for cyclists no matter the talent of the cyclists and motorists.

FYI, when I see you Americans say "35" or "25" I have to remind myself that y'all don't use metric.

powskier

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #77 on: August 22, 2017, 11:02:34 PM »
I took a hiatus from riding my 2.5 mile route to work. I am a law abiding and very aware and experienced cyclist.Every day I would come home and have at least one story of " someone trying to kill me", usually from them not looking for me and my on 24/7 lights and reflectors....or them breaking the law in some manner.Got hit crossing a legal crosswalk.
I miss it and only trail ride now. I'll ride again it just is too much angst going to and from work( 1 back road and mainly sidewalks but a busy part of town).
To add to thread , there are plenty of ignorant and dangerous cyclists out there, but when an accident happens and the cyclist is at fault, the cyclist ALWAYS is more injured/dead than the car driver. There are also plenty of ignorant/dangerous/distracted drivers out there and when they hit a cyclist the cyclist is ALWAYS more injured/dead than the car driver. This is why most of us are pretty defensive on the bike.
I could talk of hundreds of anecdotes of close calls where my actions were the only thing that prevented me from being hit. It's not that biking is dangerous, it's that drivers are dangerous.

index

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #78 on: August 23, 2017, 07:15:35 AM »
Also take into account if you wear your seat belt, unlike 47% of drivers, your chances of being involved in a fatal accident on a road with a 35 mph would go down tremendously.

Unlike the BS article, the numbers don't lie.

Self-reported seatbelt use among adults in the United States increased steadily between 2002 and 2010, with the national prevalence reaching 87% in 2010.

Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437512000977

You are absolutely correct. It is 47% of all traffic fatalities were not wearing their seat belt. This actually proves the point even more though.

Using 87% of people wear seat belts and 47% in fatal accidents are not wearing seat belts, we can say that the 13% of non-seatbelt wearing people represent 47% of fatalities. So choosing not to wear a seat belt increases your chances of being involved in a fatal accident by about 6x.  I am sure the number of fatalities for belt vs. no-belts starts to equalize at higher speeds (a seat belt isn't going to do a heck of alot if you wreck going 90 mph). So wearing a seat belt represents an even greater risk reduction at lower speeds.   

I was really just stating that the MMM article posted (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/) is utter BS and requires some real mental gymnastics and fuzzy causality to arive at his conclusion.

MMM stated driving at 75 mph had the equivalent risk of riding a bike at 12 mph based only on deaths/distance. If he would have considered wearing a seatbelt, using his math, driving at 75 mph is twice as safe as riding a bike. Now no one who drives 75 mph on their way to work everyday can even consider bike commuting; they live too far away. So consider those who travel the same roads, with speed limits of 35 or less, and driving (while wearing a seat belt) becomes and order of magnitude safer than riding a bike.                                                                   

scottish

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #79 on: August 23, 2017, 03:56:31 PM »
I took a hiatus from riding my 2.5 mile route to work. I am a law abiding and very aware and experienced cyclist.Every day I would come home and have at least one story of " someone trying to kill me", usually from them not looking for me and my on 24/7 lights and reflectors....or them breaking the law in some manner.Got hit crossing a legal crosswalk.
I miss it and only trail ride now. I'll ride again it just is too much angst going to and from work( 1 back road and mainly sidewalks but a busy part of town).
To add to thread , there are plenty of ignorant and dangerous cyclists out there, but when an accident happens and the cyclist is at fault, the cyclist ALWAYS is more injured/dead than the car driver. There are also plenty of ignorant/dangerous/distracted drivers out there and when they hit a cyclist the cyclist is ALWAYS more injured/dead than the car driver. This is why most of us are pretty defensive on the bike.
I could talk of hundreds of anecdotes of close calls where my actions were the only thing that prevented me from being hit. It's not that biking is dangerous, it's that drivers are dangerous.

I also had a couple of close calls.   I only right on bike trails now.   No point biking to work if you're going to get there all stressed out (best case).

dougules

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #80 on: August 23, 2017, 04:26:09 PM »
I hate to say this, but maybe move somewhere that is actually serious about building infrastructure that doesn't assume cars are the only form of transportation.  My plan is to FIRE then GTFO. 

M5

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #81 on: August 24, 2017, 12:00:01 PM »
The real problem here is the attitude of those who put a negative connotation on cycling due to its "dangerous" nature. Many things in life are "dangerous" yet people still choose to partake, usually because they enjoy the activity. You must learn to assume a certain level of risk with anything you do, regardless of the available safety measures. For example, I cycle, fly airplanes, and used to race dirt track cars. Are there dangers involved in all of these? Certainly, I could die doing any of these. And yes, I choose to wear the level of protective equipment that I deem appropriate, but this doesn't guarantee I won't be injured or killed. The real reason myself and most others do these things is because we enjoy them. I absolutely love biking to work 19 miles round trip everyday. I love flying any chance I get. And racing will always be my greatest passion. I would much rather die participating in something that brings me pure joy and improves quality of life than spending 100 years stressing about all the "dangers" of the world.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #82 on: August 24, 2017, 12:02:31 PM »
Can this thread be moved out of the point-and-laugh forum into one of the serious discussion forums?

iowajes

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #83 on: August 24, 2017, 12:12:46 PM »
I also had a couple of close calls.   I only right on bike trails now.   No point biking to work if you're going to get there all stressed out (best case).
How do you GET to the bike trails?  How do you get from your bike trail to the office?

Warlord1986

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #84 on: August 24, 2017, 01:17:42 PM »
I also had a couple of close calls.   I only right on bike trails now.   No point biking to work if you're going to get there all stressed out (best case).
How do you GET to the bike trails?  How do you get from your bike trail to the office?

Dunno 'bout scottish, but I load my bike onto the rack on the back of my car and off I go. I'd love to bike commute again, but with all the nutjobs on the road that ain't gonna happen. :(

mm1970

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #85 on: August 24, 2017, 04:31:30 PM »
This is one of those things that nobody is really right or wrong.  I've never had a major bike accident, but I don't ride a lot of miles.

I have some friends and coworkers who ride a lot.  Commuting and/or for fun.  They've all had accidents, for some of them multiple.  Most recently a guy was T-boned by a truck.  Bike went 20 feet one way, he went 10 feet in the air, landed on the hood, then roof of truck then on the ground.  Lived to tell about it (it was a hit and run), but man.  That's the third time this guy's been hit in the last year, while wearing bright clothing and following all applicable laws.  In this case, the truck driver was looking down, possibly texting.

So, what is your tolerance for accidents and death?  I've got two small children.  I don't want to leave them motherless or fatherless.  My tolerance level is pretty low.

My other coworker has had enough close calls that he stopped commuting to work by bike.  He still rides for fun on weekends, on lightly traveled roads.

scottish

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #86 on: August 24, 2017, 08:13:55 PM »
I also had a couple of close calls.   I only right on bike trails now.   No point biking to work if you're going to get there all stressed out (best case).
How do you GET to the bike trails?  How do you get from your bike trail to the office?

I can take residential roads with a low speed limit and little traffic to the bike trails.   From there they go straight (well with some meandering) to work, popping out almost across the street from our office building.

Ottawa isn't too bad for bike trails.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #87 on: August 28, 2017, 10:44:34 AM »
It's been touched on but the solutions aren't mutually exclusive.

We need cities to continue to invest in bike lanes and paths. Adds a lot of room and awareness to cities not used to bikers. I prefer riding a bike in Chicago versus Milwaukee since lanes are well marked and thus drivers are more aware of bikers.

That said, cars require highly regulated safety and visibility features. I don't think it is too much to ask bikers to have similar features that increases visibility. If you are riding a rode in cloudy weather or dusk, you should have bright lights on the front and back.


GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #88 on: August 28, 2017, 11:21:29 AM »
That said, cars require highly regulated safety and visibility features. I don't think it is too much to ask bikers to have similar features that increases visibility. If you are riding a rode in cloudy weather or dusk, you should have bright lights on the front and back.

Cars require the safety features because they kill tens of thousands of people every year.

While I'm not opposed to requiring safety features on bicycles, given that more pedestrians are killed by cars every year than cyclists surely the rules should also apply to people walking?  A bright light front and rear and the requirement that fluorescent clothing be worn every time you walk at night or when it's overcast will make you safer from cars.  (Let's not even touch on the dangers of walking without a helmet!)

I assume that this sounds reasonable to you?  If not, why not?

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #89 on: August 28, 2017, 11:35:13 AM »
That said, cars require highly regulated safety and visibility features. I don't think it is too much to ask bikers to have similar features that increases visibility. If you are riding a rode in cloudy weather or dusk, you should have bright lights on the front and back.

Cars require the safety features because they kill tens of thousands of people every year.

While I'm not opposed to requiring safety features on bicycles, given that more pedestrians are killed by cars every year than cyclists surely the rules should also apply to people walking?  A bright light front and rear and the requirement that fluorescent clothing be worn every time you walk at night or when it's overcast will make you safer from cars.  (Let's not even touch on the dangers of walking without a helmet!)

I assume that this sounds reasonable to you?  If not, why not?

If you make a habit of walking a city road at twilight, you probably should be told to wear something more visible or get off the road. Bikers want them to have the rules of the road when it benefits them, so I think they should follow all the rules of the road....Not riding through red lights, visibilty, etc.

I'm not talking about riding in a neighborhood or on a bike trail, I'm concern with busy city streets where it is legitimately hard for a driver to see a biker at night.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #90 on: August 28, 2017, 12:16:28 PM »
That said, cars require highly regulated safety and visibility features. I don't think it is too much to ask bikers to have similar features that increases visibility. If you are riding a rode in cloudy weather or dusk, you should have bright lights on the front and back.

Cars require the safety features because they kill tens of thousands of people every year.

While I'm not opposed to requiring safety features on bicycles, given that more pedestrians are killed by cars every year than cyclists surely the rules should also apply to people walking?  A bright light front and rear and the requirement that fluorescent clothing be worn every time you walk at night or when it's overcast will make you safer from cars.  (Let's not even touch on the dangers of walking without a helmet!)

I assume that this sounds reasonable to you?  If not, why not?

If you make a habit of walking a city road at twilight, you probably should be told to wear something more visible or get off the road. Bikers want them to have the rules of the road when it benefits them, so I think they should follow all the rules of the road....Not riding through red lights, visibilty, etc.

I'm not talking about riding in a neighborhood or on a bike trail, I'm concern with busy city streets where it is legitimately hard for a driver to see a biker at night.

Nobody has advocated for cyclists to break any laws in this whole thread.  I've consistently said that cyclists should follow the rules of the road.  You want to change the rules of the road to require that cyclists have bright front and rear lights if it's cloudy outsider for safety from cars.  You haven't explained why an activity that has more deaths every year caused by automobile (walking) should be exempt from the very rules you're pushing for cyclists to adopt.  That's not very consistent.  You simply percieve cycling on the road as inherently dangerous and thus are pushing for special rules for cyclists.  It's a common response.

There is a difference between percieved danger and real danger.  Pedestrians don't walk down the road typically . . . Yet more of them are hit by cars every year than cyclists.  The case for lights on pedestrians is stronger than the one for cyclists.  Percieved danger of walking is low though - even though mile for mile it's actually pretty dangerous.  When percieved danger of an activity goes up, fewer people do it.  Study after study has shown that when there are fewer cyclists on roads, the roads get more dangerous for cyclists.  By requiring all of this additional safety equipment you are increasing the percieved danger of cycling, and will likely discourage cyclists.  That has a net impact of making the roads less safe for cyclists.  This is why most places have given up on helmet laws . . . Though well intentioned, they actually make things worse overall.

Should you wear a helmet?  Sure.  Should you use lights?  Yep.  Should it be legislated?  This isn't as clear cut a yes or no as it seems at first glance.  The danger to cyclists is predominantly automobiles.  Getting more bikes on the road means that drivers learn how to behave around cyclists, are more likely to educate themselves about the rules of the road, and will result in fewer deaths/injuries.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #91 on: August 28, 2017, 12:44:48 PM »
That said, cars require highly regulated safety and visibility features. I don't think it is too much to ask bikers to have similar features that increases visibility. If you are riding a rode in cloudy weather or dusk, you should have bright lights on the front and back.

Cars require the safety features because they kill tens of thousands of people every year.

While I'm not opposed to requiring safety features on bicycles, given that more pedestrians are killed by cars every year than cyclists surely the rules should also apply to people walking?  A bright light front and rear and the requirement that fluorescent clothing be worn every time you walk at night or when it's overcast will make you safer from cars.  (Let's not even touch on the dangers of walking without a helmet!)

I assume that this sounds reasonable to you?  If not, why not?

If you make a habit of walking a city road at twilight, you probably should be told to wear something more visible or get off the road. Bikers want them to have the rules of the road when it benefits them, so I think they should follow all the rules of the road....Not riding through red lights, visibilty, etc.

I'm not talking about riding in a neighborhood or on a bike trail, I'm concern with busy city streets where it is legitimately hard for a driver to see a biker at night.

Nobody has advocated for cyclists to break any laws in this whole thread.  I've consistently said that cyclists should follow the rules of the road.  You want to change the rules of the road to require that cyclists have bright front and rear lights if it's cloudy outsider for safety from cars.  You haven't explained why an activity that has more deaths every year caused by automobile (walking) should be exempt from the very rules you're pushing for cyclists to adopt.  That's not very consistent.  You simply percieve cycling on the road as inherently dangerous and thus are pushing for special rules for cyclists.  It's a common response.

There is a difference between percieved danger and real danger.  Pedestrians don't walk down the road typically . . . Yet more of them are hit by cars every year than cyclists.  The case for lights on pedestrians is stronger than the one for cyclists.  Percieved danger of walking is low though - even though mile for mile it's actually pretty dangerous.  When percieved danger of an activity goes up, fewer people do it.  Study after study has shown that when there are fewer cyclists on roads, the roads get more dangerous for cyclists.  By requiring all of this additional safety equipment you are increasing the percieved danger of cycling, and will likely discourage cyclists.  That has a net impact of making the roads less safe for cyclists.  This is why most places have given up on helmet laws . . . Though well intentioned, they actually make things worse overall.

Should you wear a helmet?  Sure.  Should you use lights?  Yep.  Should it be legislated?  This isn't as clear cut a yes or no as it seems at first glance.  The danger to cyclists is predominantly automobiles.  Getting more bikes on the road means that drivers learn how to behave around cyclists, are more likely to educate themselves about the rules of the road, and will result in fewer deaths/injuries.

I don't see them as comparable. Walking usually occurs on the sidewalk and there are rules to walking, following the walklights, only crossing at crosswalks, etc. I have no problem requiring walkers to be required lights if they are walking on city street not on a sidewalk. (This would be city areas and not applied to suburbs). Is it really that crazy to have special requirements for any using the road to improve safety?

Can I also see your stats? My guess is that more people are killed walking because there are more of them. If we had as many cyclists, my guess is that is that deaths would be higher.

Also, do you know what causes people to not to bike ride? Stories like a childhood friends dad who got hit by a car and became paralyzed. I don't think a cop warning me to have a bike on my light scares me as much as getting hit by a car. Like I said before, you can encourage bike safety and promote it at the same time. I fully encourage bike lane projects and people riding their bikes in a safe manner. Not the idiots that don't have lights or reflective gear on a crowded street at night. Those are the people that make the perceived danger real. (I say all of this as someone who commutes by bike 50% of the time)

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #92 on: August 29, 2017, 09:11:04 AM »
I don't see them as comparable.

I know.  This is why your suggestions (while well intentioned) are quite inconsistent.  Your suggestion has more to do with your perception than with reality.



Walking usually occurs on the sidewalk and there are rules to walking, following the walklights, only crossing at crosswalks, etc.

Obviously, given the huge number of deaths every year caused by pedestrians and automobiles, the rules you're referring to don't increase safety enough.

You keep coming back to 'being on a sidewalk' as though that guarentees safety somehow.
 Being on a sidewalk is an illusion of safety (one that you're clinging to rather hard in this discussion), particularly while cycling.  As I've mentioned before, it's significantly safer to cycle on the road:

"Bicyclists on a sidewalk or bicycle path incur greater risk than those on the roadway (on
average 1.8 times as great), most likely because of blind conflicts at intersections. Wrongway
sidewalk bicyclists are at even greater risk, and sidewalk bicycling appears to increase
the incidence of wrong-way travel." -  Risk Factors for BicycleMotor Vehicle Collisions at Intersections,  Alan Wachtel and Diana Lewiston

"Bicycling on the sidewalk eliminates the relatively small danger to cyclists of crashes
with overtaking motorists, but increases the potential for more common intersection
collisions." - http://www.bike.cornell.edu/pdfs/Sidewalk_biking_FAQ.pdf

"Results to date suggest that sidewalks and multi-use trails pose the highest risk [for cyclists]" - https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-8-47



I have no problem requiring walkers to be required lights if they are walking on city street not on a sidewalk. (This would be city areas and not applied to suburbs).

Hang on.  Nobody (or at least very, very, very few people) goes for a walk down the middle of the street.  Yet we know that pedestrians are regularly hit by cars (about 6.5 times as many pedestrians than cyclists - http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm).  Walking is obviously an inherently dangerous activity due to dangers posed by automobiles, regardless of whether someone is walking down the street or not.  You have indicated that you don't believe pedestrians should be required to wear lights, despite the fact that this would make them more visible to cars (on or off the road doesn't matter, people are being hit by automobiles regularly).  Can you explain this reasoning?



Is it really that crazy to have special requirements for any using the road to improve safety?

Requiring lights front/rear is about as crazy as requiring every pedestrian walking on the sidewalk to have lights front/rear.  Both will likely improve safety by making people more visible to automobiles.  You seem really opposed to one and pro the other though, which does seem a bit crazy.



Can I also see your stats? My guess is that more people are killed walking because there are more of them. If we had as many cyclists, my guess is that is that deaths would be higher.

"For 2010 (the most recent full year for which data is provided), the fatailty rate for cyclists was 22 per billion kilometers travelled compared to 23 per billion for pedestrians. The average from 2001 to 2010 showed the cyclist fatailty rate at 28 compared to 35 for pedestrians." - https://fullfact.org/news/it-more-dangerous-be-pedestrian-cyclist/

That posted, most countries don't collect enough data and enough depth of information on the data to conclusively show that cycling is more dangerous than walking or vice-versa.



I don't think a cop warning me to have a bike on my light scares me as much as getting hit by a car.

Fortunately, we don't have to guess what people will do based on what you say.  We can look at how other regulations forced upon cyclists in the past have impacted cyclists on the road.  Helmet law introduction for example has been extensively studied:

"The first year of the mandatory bicycle helmet laws in Australia saw increased helmet wearing from 31% to 75% of cyclists in Victoria and from 31% of children and 26% of adults in New South Wales (NSW) to 76% and 85%. However, the two major surveys using matched before and after samples in Melbourne and throughout NSW observed reductions in numbers of child cyclists 15 and 2.2 times greater than the increase in numbers of children wearing helmets. This suggests the greatest effect of the helmet law was not to encourage cyclists to wear helmets, but to discourage cycling. In contrast, despite increases to at least 75% helmet wearing, the proportion of head injuries in cyclists admitted or treated at hospital declined by an average of only 13%." - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8870773

"The benefits of cycling, even without a helmet, have been estimated to outweigh the hazards by a factor of 20 to 1. Consequently, a helmet law, whose most notable effect was to reduce cycling, may have generated a net loss of health benefits to the nation. Despite the risk of dying from head injury per hour being similar for unhelmeted cyclists and motor vehicle occupants, cyclists alone have been required to wear head protection."- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8870773

I wear a helmet when I bike.  A cop warning me to have a helmet on bike would therefore not scare me at all.  It does however, reduce the number of cyclists on the road.  Now, what is the impact/effect of reducing cyclists on the road?

"A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking and bicycling if more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling." - http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/9/3/205

"The more cyclists there are on the road, the safer riding becomes for all cyclists." - http://home.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/bike-ridership-safety.shtml

"Bicyclist safety significantly increases when there are more bikes on the road" - https://www.cudenvertoday.org/more-cyclists-on-road-can-mean-less-collisions/

So, we know that introducing new regulations/requirements has the effect of reducing the numbers of cyclists on the road, and we know that when fewer people cycle it becomes more dangerous for cyclists.  If your goal is to make things safer, it seems like your well intended suggestion is a bad one.



Like I said before, you can encourage bike safety and promote it at the same time. I fully encourage bike lane projects and people riding their bikes in a safe manner.
Not the idiots that don't have lights or reflective gear on a crowded street at night. Those are the people that make the perceived danger real. (I say all of this as someone who commutes by bike 50% of the time)

Partly agreed.  Personally, I try to encourage people to ride their bikes safely by riding my bike safely.  I always wear a helmet.  I wear bright reflective clothing and use lights (using lights at night is the law, and it's a reasonable one) when it's dark.  It makes sense to do so.

Now for the part where I'm not so much in agreement:
The idiots who cycle on the sidewalk are getting into accidents at higher rates than those of us who cycle on the road . . . and yet we never have threads where people are demanding better laws to force cyclists onto the (safer) road.  Again, it comes down to (incorrect) perception of safety.  I think that your jump to legislate (particularly to legislate stuff of minimal real benefit - like a requirement to run lights when it's cloudy out) is probably a step too far and has a chance to cause a net decrease rather than increase in safety for cyclists.

MilesTeg

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #93 on: August 29, 2017, 09:42:52 AM »

This is where we're coming into disagreement.

It's pretty rare that cyclists can maintain and hold 30 miles per hour.  30 mph is the default speed limit in most cities, and it only gets higher when you leave them.  By your logic then, cycling is a stupid thing to do because no cyclist can travel at the arbitrary speed limits set for cars anywhere.  This is the kind of flawed reasoning that convinces people to cycle on sidewalks rather than on the road despite the significantly higher risks.  (The road is what most people tend to call 'car lanes' as you like to refer to them.)

My disagreement with you is that a cyclist in his lane always causes significant hazard to the cars around him.  There is a difference between a car/tractor/quad and a bike.  A bicycle is a pretty small and unassuming vehicle.  Most cars will pass a cyclist without even leaving their lane.  It's difficult to understand how this is a significant hazard.

The source of our disagreement seems to be that you are willfully ignoring what I am actually saying, and substituting your own easy to argue against position (e.g. classic strawman).

I am not saying that a cycling always causes significant hazard to the cars around him. I am saying that a biker (or any slow moving vehicle) traveling at well below the prevailing speed of a road in the same lane is significant hazard. By well below, I do not mean "not at exactly the speed of prevailing traffic". I mean well below. Going back to the original example: a bike doing bike speed (10-15MPH) in a highway speed (50MPH+) lane (35-40+MPH difference) is a good example of "well below". Of course, you can substitute "bike" with "scooter/moped", "golf cart", "ATV" or any number of other slow moving vehicles.

And for the last time: that's the double standard that is the problem. Slow moving vehicles are generally barred from traveling in high speed lanes, but bikes are not. Because reasons.

Quote
While you may not have intended to kill someone when you set off, it was your intentional choice to drive recklessly/carelessly.  The vehemence with which people are defending their need to drive recklessly in this thread is getting silly.  All I've been pleading in this entire thread is that you operate your vehicle in a safe manner.  This might mean that you don't go for the high score in candy crush while blasting down the road.  It might mean that you slow your vehicle slightly when coming into a hard blind corner.  It might mean that you don't pass another car blind.  This is not controversial stuff.

All that I can do is plea.  You're in control of the dangerous vehicle.

This is just straight up dishonesty here. The amount of effort you are putting into framing what I am saying into me agreeing with or defending people driving recklessly is simply fascinating. What is motivating you to put this much effort into portraying my position so dishonestly?

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #94 on: August 29, 2017, 10:31:56 AM »

This is where we're coming into disagreement.

It's pretty rare that cyclists can maintain and hold 30 miles per hour.  30 mph is the default speed limit in most cities, and it only gets higher when you leave them.  By your logic then, cycling is a stupid thing to do because no cyclist can travel at the arbitrary speed limits set for cars anywhere.  This is the kind of flawed reasoning that convinces people to cycle on sidewalks rather than on the road despite the significantly higher risks.  (The road is what most people tend to call 'car lanes' as you like to refer to them.)

My disagreement with you is that a cyclist in his lane always causes significant hazard to the cars around him.  There is a difference between a car/tractor/quad and a bike.  A bicycle is a pretty small and unassuming vehicle.  Most cars will pass a cyclist without even leaving their lane.  It's difficult to understand how this is a significant hazard.

I am not saying that a cycling always causes significant hazard to the cars around him. I am saying that a biker (or any slow moving vehicle) traveling at well below the prevailing speed of a road in the same lane is significant hazard. By well below, I do not mean "not at exactly the speed of prevailing traffic". I mean well below. Going back to the original example: a bike doing bike speed (10-15MPH) in a highway speed (50MPH+) lane (35-40+MPH difference) is a good example of "well below". Of course, you can substitute "bike" with "scooter/moped", "golf cart", "ATV" or any number of other slow moving vehicles.

Yeah, that's the part that I disagree with.  Slower moving traffic is not a significant hazard.

I say this as someone who has driven an awful lot on 80 kph (50 mph) roads through my province since I was 16 years old.  If there's a tractor/bicycle/moped/construction vehicle/golf cart/log ahead on the road, then you see it, slow your vehicle, signal that you want to pass, and then pass when safe to do so.  No real hazard or danger.  This is something I've done thousands if not tens of thousands of times . . . during the day, at night, in snow, in rain, when roads are icy, etc.

If you're not confident enough in your ability as a driver to safely pass slow moving vehicles, stop living your life in fear . . . stop driving before you kill someone.  Please.




And for the last time: that's the double standard that is the problem. Slow moving vehicles are generally barred from traveling in high speed lanes, but bikes are not. Because reasons.

Again, I can only report about the road rules that I know . . . where slow moving vehicles are not barred from travelling on 80 kph roads.  (Major highways where the speed limit is 100 kph do ban slow moving vehicles including bicycles around here, and that seems reasonable to me.)




Quote from: paddedhat
I have been nearly on top of a biker, at 50 MPH, before I even saw the idiot! He was stupid enough to find a head to toe outfit that was damn near exactly the color of aged blacktop (greyish black) and was in the driving lane, on a bleak cloudy day.

Yeah the comparison between victims of intentional crimes is nonsensical. Drivers don't intentionally try to hit bikers. This is entirely different from rapists who intentionally assault someone, or thieves who intentionally steal from someone.

Quote
While you may not have intended to kill someone when you set off, it was your intentional choice to drive recklessly/carelessly.  The vehemence with which people are defending their need to drive recklessly in this thread is getting silly.  All I've been pleading in this entire thread is that you operate your vehicle in a safe manner.  This might mean that you don't go for the high score in candy crush while blasting down the road.  It might mean that you slow your vehicle slightly when coming into a hard blind corner.  It might mean that you don't pass another car blind.  This is not controversial stuff.

All that I can do is plea.  You're in control of the dangerous vehicle.

This is just straight up dishonesty here. The amount of effort you are putting into framing what I am saying into me agreeing with or defending people driving recklessly is simply fascinating. What is motivating you to put this much effort into portraying my position so dishonestly?

You said that drivers don't intentionally hit cyclists.  I said that when someone chooses to drive carelessly/recklessly, they are doing exactly what they intended to do and should be culpable for their actions.  The whole conversation arose because paddedhat claimed that his failure to see a grown man on a bike in the middle of the day was the fault of the cyclist and not because he was driving recklessly.  This is why I mentioned reckless driving.

I'm not entirely sure that I see the claimed dishonesty there, but I apologize for hurting your feelings and hope you'll be able to get over it.

MilesTeg

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #95 on: August 29, 2017, 11:09:45 AM »

Yeah, that's the part that I disagree with.  Slower moving traffic is not a significant hazard.

Citation needed.

Quote
If you're not confident enough in your ability as a driver to safely pass slow moving vehicles, stop living your life in fear . . . stop driving before you kill someone.  Please.

Childish posturing.


Quote
You said that drivers don't intentionally hit cyclists.  I said that when someone chooses to drive carelessly/recklessly, they are doing exactly what they intended to do and should be culpable for their actions.  The whole conversation arose because paddedhat claimed that his failure to see a grown man on a bike in the middle of the day was the fault of the cyclist and not because he was driving recklessly.  This is why I mentioned reckless driving.

Not intentionally doing something is not the same as not being responsible for that mistake. Competent, responsible human being still make mistakes. To pretend otherwise, or to not take that into account when designing to rules of the road, is folly in the extreme.

Quote
I'm not entirely sure that I see the claimed dishonesty there, but I apologize for hurting your feelings and hope you'll be able to get over it.

More childish posturing.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 11:11:32 AM by MilesTeg »

infogoon

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #96 on: August 29, 2017, 11:29:04 AM »
Yeah, please excuse me if I go all whiney pants, but I just had this exchange while biking home:

Car pulls up next to me as I am biking on the narrow, two lane road about a mile from my house. I look up in surprise to see an older lady peering out her window at me. "Don't you know what you are doing is dangerous?!" Me: "It's not. Being sedent--" Her: "Yes it is! Especially on this road!" And off she drives.

I had a woman pull up next to me at a stop light and threaten to call 911 and report me for riding my bike in the street.

In my state, bicycles are legally vehicles that are required to follow all the same traffic conventions as cars. And it's illegal for adults to ride bicycles on the sidewalk in my city.

Driver's Ed needs a continuing education component for these idiots.

jmecklenborg

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #97 on: August 29, 2017, 12:58:59 PM »
I don't get what is going on with all of these people having all of these accidents.  I am 38, have been riding continuously on "busy roads" since I was 10, and have never come close to getting hit.  I have ridden enough to have some really weird things happen (chased by a rabid dog, have been mugged while bicycling multiple times, have been pulled over by police multiple times, had stuff thrown at me, been hit with chemicals coming off of farm vehicles, been pooped on by birds, etc.) but have never collided with a car or gotten hit.  It's never even come close to happening. 

I think pedestrians and other bicyclists are as grave of a danger to bike riders as are cars.  Cars can only do so many things.  They go forward, they go backward, they go left, they go right.  They speed up, they slow down.  But they are hemmed in much more so than are pedestrians or other bicyclists, plus they make noise (well hybrids and Teslas are pretty quiet now). 

To function in city traffic you need to be city traffic.  As long as you actually follow the same rules cars must follow, you avoid 99% of the hairy situations people get in.  And if things get messy, just pull over and wait for things to clear out. 


mm1970

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #98 on: August 29, 2017, 03:10:46 PM »
Yeah, please excuse me if I go all whiney pants, but I just had this exchange while biking home:

Car pulls up next to me as I am biking on the narrow, two lane road about a mile from my house. I look up in surprise to see an older lady peering out her window at me. "Don't you know what you are doing is dangerous?!" Me: "It's not. Being sedent--" Her: "Yes it is! Especially on this road!" And off she drives.

I had a woman pull up next to me at a stop light and threaten to call 911 and report me for riding my bike in the street.

In my state, bicycles are legally vehicles that are required to follow all the same traffic conventions as cars. And it's illegal for adults to ride bicycles on the sidewalk in my city.

Driver's Ed needs a continuing education component for these idiots.
And for this reason, I think the point someone made above about front/ back lights for bikes is a good one.  There are certain conditions where cars are REQUIRED to have lights on for safety (fog, twilight, darkness).  Bicycles are vehicles and should have the same requirements.

mm1970

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #99 on: August 29, 2017, 03:17:46 PM »
I don't get what is going on with all of these people having all of these accidents.  I am 38, have been riding continuously on "busy roads" since I was 10, and have never come close to getting hit.  I have ridden enough to have some really weird things happen (chased by a rabid dog, have been mugged while bicycling multiple times, have been pulled over by police multiple times, had stuff thrown at me, been hit with chemicals coming off of farm vehicles, been pooped on by birds, etc.) but have never collided with a car or gotten hit.  It's never even come close to happening. 

I think pedestrians and other bicyclists are as grave of a danger to bike riders as are cars.  Cars can only do so many things.  They go forward, they go backward, they go left, they go right.  They speed up, they slow down.  But they are hemmed in much more so than are pedestrians or other bicyclists, plus they make noise (well hybrids and Teslas are pretty quiet now). 

To function in city traffic you need to be city traffic.  As long as you actually follow the same rules cars must follow, you avoid 99% of the hairy situations people get in.  And if things get messy, just pull over and wait for things to clear out.
I think it depends a lot on where you live.  From the people that I know who have gotten into accidents - they are people who follow rules of the road, use lights, wear bright clothing.  I think a lot of people in cars here are driving distracted, or aggressively (a lot of people texting).

It's also the regular cyclists who are getting hit, guys who are fast - who bike *nearly* the speed of prevailing traffic.  Some of them are getting "cut off" and hit by cars, maybe by drivers who think "I can make it".  It comes down to being aware.

I cut off a cyclist not long after I moved here, 20 years ago.  I was turning into a parking lot.  The car in front of me just stopped, and I wasn't really aware of how close he was.  Now that I've lived here awhile, and have biked to work off and on - I'm much more aware of cyclists and don't attempt to turn in front of them.