Author Topic: Mustachianism almost killed me!  (Read 13727 times)

g3

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Mustachianism almost killed me!
« on: July 26, 2014, 07:58:11 AM »
New follower to the MMM website and I just bought a road bike to start going places.  In just my second time on my new bike, I was hit by a drunk driver.  Luckily, I was barely scratched and didn't have to go to the hospital, but still a scary experience.

Say what you will about biking somehow being safer (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/) but at age 22, I driven about 50,000 miles without a single incident (never even been pulled over or had a ticket, much less an accident of any kind) and biked less than 10 miles before getting hit.  I know, I know, I'm a single sample.  Biking is still more dangerous.

Any hardcore Mustachians out there decide the cost savings of biking is not worth the physical risk? 

desrever

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 08:11:13 AM »
Sheesh, what happened?

DecD

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 08:14:32 AM »
I'm so sorry to hear about the accident and so glad you are ok!

But that doesn't mean sweeping generalizations are true.  For example, I got rear ended pretty badly in a rental car last Thursday, and while it could have been way worse, I ended up with a concussion (as an aside I don't recommend the recovery method of "power through it" for brain injuries, but I digress)

Can we assume that rental cars are more dangerous?  Or should we conclude that dunk drivers (who hit you) and idiot folks who don't pay attention(who hit me) are the problem and can injure innocent drivers OR bikers?

It's scary and horrible that you got hit.  But drunk drivers hit and kill folks driving in cars, too.  I lost a friend in HS on a motorcycle to a drunk driver.  I wouldn't blame you for never wanting to bike again.  But I'm not sure cars are safer.

g3

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2014, 08:17:18 AM »
Sheesh, what happened?

Just your typical driver making a turn and not seeing a biker coming the other way. Good thing he saw me right before he hit me and was able to slow down!

TheNorwegianGuy

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2014, 08:24:32 AM »
Sheesh, what happened?

Just your typical driver making a turn and not seeing a biker coming the other way. Good thing he saw me right before he hit me and was able to slow down!
Isnt it more correct saying that Antimustachianism (the drunk car-clown) almost killed you?

Im glad you werent seriously injured :)

Psychstache

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 08:25:59 AM »
Sorry to hear about the incident, but I am glad to hear you are ok.

I don't bike, but the bigger issue I think you need to address is being a ROTty (results oriented thinker)

Say what you will about biking somehow being safer (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/) but at age 22, I driven about 50,000 miles without a single incident (never even been pulled over or had a ticket, much less an accident of any kind) and biked less than 10 miles before getting hit.  I know, I know, I'm a single sample.  Biking is still more dangerous.

I realize this is probably a traumatic experience, but you can't let your personal experience blind you to the fact that biking is significantly safer than driving a car.

As a recent example, I was playing Texas Hold 'em recently when I got pocket Aces. I got all in against another player who had pocket Kings. The board dropped a King and he won the hand with three of a kind. EVERY TIME this happens, you will hear a chorus of players say ridiculous things like:

Yeah, that's what happens with Aces
I always get busted with AA
I think I've lost more money that I've won with pocket aces

and other nonsense. The bottom line is I was the 80% favorite to win the hand and I will put my money on the line vs KK every time and be happy with it because the decision is independent of the outcome. I made the right decision, the stats just didn't fall my way....this time. Over the long haul, I will come out ahead so I will deal with the minor setback.

Obviously, losing money is a different proposition than getting in a bike or car accident, but make your decision for the right reasons. Don't trick yourself into ignoring hard facts because of your personal experience.


g3

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 08:26:40 AM »
But that doesn't mean sweeping generalizations are true.

"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."

From MMM himself. I don't think I've made a sweeping generalization. Per mile, biking fatalities (and biking accidents are probably in the same ballpark) are almost 7 times higher.

Now MMM makes the argument that you go 6x faster in a car therefore you drive 6x more miles, but I was biking the same exact route I would have driven otherwise.

At any rate, I was hoping to find some people who don't bike for the same reason I'm now hesitant to.

brooklynmoney

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2014, 08:41:46 AM »
I do not bike because I am scared everyone I know who bikes has been hit by a car and there are a lot of ghost bike memorials in my hood. That said I also have the luxury of walking or public transport and I have been very tempted by our new Citi bike rental program so may give it a shot. I mean almost everyone in my running club has also been hit by a car. I guess roads are just dangerous.

g3

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2014, 08:44:33 AM »
Sheesh, what happened?

Just your typical driver making a turn and not seeing a biker coming the other way. Good thing he saw me right before he hit me and was able to slow down!
Isnt it more correct saying that Antimustachianism (the drunk car-clown) almost killed you?


I suppose.  But that subject line isn't quite as eye-grabbing :P


I don't bike, but the bigger issue I think you need to address is being a ROTty (results oriented thinker)

I have a Master's in Statistics, have to listen to too many people say things like you said about pocket aces always losing -- oh you know how to make money at roulette?! Fascinating!

At any rate, I make my living off of being a results oriented thinker.  And the results suggest that in most cases, biking the same or similar amount of mileage you would otherwise drive is vastly more dangerous.

I don't think you can say that biking is safer then driving... especially when you were hit by a drunk driver...
I think you are a little worked up about it at the moment, but give it time and you should get back on that bike...

Were you following proper biking protocol? Were you on the side walk? were you on the road? Were you following your local / state / provincial rules?


See my above responses about biking being 'safer'.

Yeah, proper biking protocol.  In the bike lane with a very strong front headlight and blinking red backlight.  Entirely his fault.


g3

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2014, 08:46:11 AM »
I do not bike because I am scared everyone I know who bikes has been hit by a car

Me too.  Most people I work with who bike to the job have been hit by a car. 

darkadams00

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2014, 09:05:18 AM »
I don't bike, but the bigger issue I think you need to address is being a ROTty (results oriented thinker)

Any choice you make that results in a negative outcome, especially a recurring lifestyle choice, will make you pause to reevaluate your decision. However, the negative outcome is often due to (1) a mistake in planning, e.g. your route, the time of day for that route, your visibility, (2) a mistake in your actions, e.g. riding on sidewalks or suddenly appearing in the road coming off a multi-use path, (3) rolling the thousand-sided dice and landing on the wrong side of chance, e.g. bad stuff just happens sometimes, or (4) your decision actually is a bad decision and the outcome was likely to occur.

On this site, I think you'll find a variety--some folks tried the ride and didn't like it/had an issue they couldn't resolve in their minds (the ones you're looking to find), the folks who never tried the ride for one reason or another, and the folks who tried the ride and are still riding, even faced with a similar situation as yours. If you're looking for some like-minded people to support your decision not to bike, then you will find them. But their decision will usually be based on the same principle as yours--an emotional reaction to an anecdotal situation. Few would have really looked into any data/generalizable findings. Since your decision to bike is recent, its viability is up for discussion. You've already been living under similar assumptions in other activities, but since those decisions were made years ago, and probably more mainstream/socially acceptable, then you continue on even though those odds might even be worse.

Ultimately, it's a personal call. I was in four airplanes this week while CNN was headlining the ongoing Malaysian Air disaster. I've been in car accidents, but I still drive. I've fallen down my stairs at home once and in public twice, but I still usually take the stairs when possible. I've injured myself playing sports, but I recover (sometimes over a month later) and play on. Understandably a bike accident could result in death or serious injury, but it usually doesn't. Just like dying in a car/plane accident is rare, you should really take into account the extremely low probability of a bad accident when you are adequately prepared and riding defensively.


Malaysia41

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2014, 09:06:16 AM »
A day or two into their visit, my friends usually ask if I feel safe driving and biking in Malaysia.  They sit in the passenger seat and all they see is chaos.  I sit in the drivers seat and I see low speed awareness.  So I answer, "yes, I feel safe". 

I've come to realize that in the US, car drivers are largely oblivious to bikes and scooters.  It leads them to take sharp right hand turns without looking in their blind spots, or do similarly bike-unfriendly actions.  As a result, when I bike in the US I just ASSUME that cars don't see me.  Until we make eye-contact, I am invisible.  And I can't make eye contact with everyone so I feel really vulnerable in the the US.

I'm sorry you got hit.  It'd be nice if we could somehow raise driver awareness of bikes to where they check for oncoming / blind spot bikes habitually.  Of course, if they've been drinking, that is another factor altogether. 

Good luck with getting back on the bike.  I still personally believe in biking.  But, yeah, oblivious / drunk drivers are a major hazard for us.

neo von retorch

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2014, 09:17:59 AM »
While you claim it was "100%" their fault, and yes, you can assign blame, that does not necessarily translate to "it was 100% unavoidable on my part." It is possible that as an inexperienced biker, you were not as vigilant / observant as is necessary while riding a bike as you need to for these (relatively infrequent) scenarios. Maybe the guy did not signal or acknowledge your existence but was slowing down for the turn and you might have guessed he would turn obliviously into you without signaling if you had more biking experience, and thus you might have slowed down to see what he would do before entering the intersection. (Or maybe he came up from behind and hit you and there really was nothing you could do about it. I don't know the full situation.)

The point is just that doing anything new, being inexperienced, you're more likely to have something go wrong, even if it's not "your fault."

The_Learning1

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2014, 09:22:29 AM »
Sorry to hear you were hit.  Wherever it's safe (in other words, when I am working in the USA) I bike-commute.  I've had a couple of nasty accidents because I ride year round.  (Hitting black ice a few times has put me out of work a day or two here and there as I recover.)  When I do commute, my bike commute tends to be 10 miles each way.  A couple of years back I had my worst accident ever, a ripped shoulder blade that took me over a year of therapy to recover from.  (I am finally better now.)  That was expensive because I was in the dead middle of house renovation and couldn't do any work for myself.  It cost me a fortune. 

With all that said, there is nothing I would trade for my bike commutes.  Irrespective of the savings (which have been vast in terms of car and public transport), the health benefits have been enormous.  I have a brutally stressful job, and the my ten mile uphill ride coming home guarantees that I get home feeling great, whatever the stresses of the day.  I spent my commute time working out, so when I got home I was fully available for my small children (at the time), and I knew it was working in terms of fitness when one day I went out for kicks and ran a ten k in 45 minutes without any running whatsoever in the previous year (it was because of the biking fitness only).

So curse the drunk driver, stay on your bike, try to find bike trails (and try to live near them) lobby your politicians for better protections for bikers (in my view that lack is a big part of the danger) and I guarantee you if you stick with it you will be healthier, happier, and richer.

sheepstache

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2014, 10:31:39 AM »
At any rate, I was hoping to find some people who don't bike for the same reason I'm now hesitant to.

If I were a Results Oriented Person, I wouldn't a) look on this board as a likely place to find agreement and sympathy or b) seek out agreement and sympathy confirming what I've already decided.

sol

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2014, 11:03:17 AM »
almost everyone in my running club has also been hit by a car. I guess roads are just dangerous.

This is the key that everyone misses.  It's not biking that is dangerous, it is cars.  Cars that hit bikers.  Cars that hit pedestrians.  Cars that hit wildlife, and children.  Cars that pollute our atmosphere.  Cars that require you send your money to terrorist states to fuel them.  Cars the encourage urban sprawl.  Cars that contribute to our national obesity epidemic.  Cars cars cars.

Why does everyone automatically assume it is biking that is dangerous when a car hits a cyclist, when clearly it is the car that did all the damage?

Ziggurat

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2014, 11:11:57 AM »
But that doesn't mean sweeping generalizations are true.

"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."

From MMM himself. I don't think I've made a sweeping generalization. Per mile, biking fatalities (and biking accidents are probably in the same ballpark) are almost 7 times higher.

Now MMM makes the argument that you go 6x faster in a car therefore you drive 6x more miles, but I was biking the same exact route I would have driven otherwise.

At any rate, I was hoping to find some people who don't bike for the same reason I'm now hesitant to.

I too didn't agree with MMM's analysis in that post.  It makes more sense to compare per distance.

However, the bigger picture of his article was that in terms of your overall health and happiness, biking is a win.  It is clear that the majority of first-world people do not get anywhere near enough exercise and biking is an easy way to fix that.

And FWIW (nothing really, just another anecdote only), I've been biking probably 300 km a month on average for several years without a single accident.  I recognize there is a little danger in it, but it is still a very small risk compared with its benefits.  When I don't bike for more than a few days, my mood slides and the brain fog starts to kick in.

Everything has a risk. Including not biking, for the reasons that MMM outlined.

g3

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2014, 12:06:35 PM »
At any rate, I was hoping to find some people who don't bike for the same reason I'm now hesitant to.

If I were a Results Oriented Person, I wouldn't a) look on this board as a likely place to find agreement and sympathy or b) seek out agreement and sympathy confirming what I've already decided.

Thanks for your contribution.

Being a results oriented person doesn't eliminate a desire to learn about other's unique perspectives.

sheepstache

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2014, 12:18:42 PM »
At any rate, I was hoping to find some people who don't bike for the same reason I'm now hesitant to.

If I were a Results Oriented Person, I wouldn't a) look on this board as a likely place to find agreement and sympathy or b) seek out agreement and sympathy confirming what I've already decided.

Thanks for your contribution.

Being a results oriented person doesn't eliminate a desire to learn about other's unique perspectives.

Yes, that's what I'm saying is I wouldn't just look for an echo chamber for fear I would make a final decision based on confirmation bias.  But that's what your quoted sentence suggested, that you were hoping to find people who agreed with you, not that you wanted people to contradict you.

(And as I realize I should perhaps clarify, I meant sympathy as in sympathy for your viewpoint not sympathy for getting hit by a car which, of course, sucks.)

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2014, 01:10:47 PM »
I'm sorry that happened to you!

Some statistics about cycling safety, and comparisons to automobiles:
http://www.ohiobike.org/misc/CyclingIsSafeTLK.pdf

beltim

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2014, 01:37:32 PM »
I'm sorry that happened to you!

Some statistics about cycling safety, and comparisons to automobiles:
http://www.ohiobike.org/misc/CyclingIsSafeTLK.pdf

I'm always interested in valid cost-benefit analyses of different modes of transportation.  That link has some of the worst sorts of completely misunderstanding and misusing statistics.  Raw statistics of how many people die from any given cause does nothing to show whether an activity is safe compared to another.
Quote
If bicycling causes fewer injuries than beds plus doors, should it be treated as excessively dangerous?
True, some of the later statistics are adjusted for frequency, but the stupidity of some of the early parts makes me take it with a huge grain of salt.

PeteD01

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2014, 05:12:52 PM »
I have been bicycling and motorcycling all my life and was hit by a driving instructor, on a personal drive, at age 14 on my moped. My moped was totaled but I was fine. Since then I have never been able to see cars as anything but missiles operated by legally blind, hearing impaired pilots possessing marginal judgment. Exceptions are welcomed but just confirm the rule.
The most disconcerting experiences I have had, and many of them at that, is when I happen to ride with novice motorcyclists and bicyclists who take a green light or a right of way as their god given right and just blow through as if it is nothing. Freaks me out every time I see it. I think bicycling and even motorcycling can be very safe but won't be if approached with the same mindset most people drive their cars with. One is invisible and being conscious of that is the only way to make these activities safe. Makes one a safer car driver too.

Doomspark

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2014, 06:37:42 PM »
Not all car drivers are daemons, and not all bicyclists are paragons of virtue.  The converse is also true.

Have seen idiots on two, three, four, and more wheels.  Idiots are going to be idiots no matter what their mode of transportation.

waltworks

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2014, 07:36:25 PM »
Bicycling is pretty safe if you just assume none of the drivers of the cars cares about your safety or even notices your presence. It is not particularly safe if you are sailing along not giving all your attention to riding/paranoia because you have the right of way or whatever.

-W

HappyIntrovert

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2014, 07:38:43 PM »
While I'd like to bike, I find it to be an unacceptable physical risk, at least where I live.  The results of a bike accident, like motorcycles have the potential to be so much more severe than a car that it's not worth it to me.

greaper007

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2014, 08:58:14 PM »
I bike a significant amount and think it's a fantastic form of transportation.    I also have a wallet full of flying certificates and used to work as a captain on an airliner.

I remember seeing a poster in a pilot lounge one day "Much like the sea, flying isn't inherently dangerous.   However, it's unforgiving."   Of course there was a picture of mangled wreckage in the background.    The only thing I could recognize was a strut from the landing gear.

That's basically how I feel about flying or bicycling.    No matter how defensive you are on a vehicle like a bike, the fact still remains that a car crash that would end with a busted fender will more than likely give you serious injuries or kill you on a bike or motorcycle.    You can avoid lots of crashes, but you can't avoid them all.

I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt.    Be careful out there.

sheepstache

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2014, 09:16:08 PM »
The results of a bike accident, like motorcycles have the potential to be so much more severe than a car that it's not worth it to me.

How do you figure?  Many fatal crashes involve multiple passengers in the car.  Only one person's ever going to die on a bike; it's a very small percentage of people who carry a kid with them.

almost everyone in my running club has also been hit by a car. I guess roads are just dangerous.

This is the key that everyone misses.  It's not biking that is dangerous, it is cars.  Cars that hit bikers.  Cars that hit pedestrians.  Cars that hit wildlife, and children.  Cars that pollute our atmosphere.  Cars that require you send your money to terrorist states to fuel them.  Cars the encourage urban sprawl.  Cars that contribute to our national obesity epidemic.  Cars cars cars.

Why does everyone automatically assume it is biking that is dangerous when a car hits a cyclist, when clearly it is the car that did all the damage?

Exactly, am I the only one who's very satisfied by the fact that I'm almost guaranteed not to kill anyone when I'm on a bike?  It's not unheard of for a bike to kill a pedestrian, but it's certainly extremely unlikely in the car-heavy areas people are usually so afraid of biking in.  I guess I'm only supposed to take my own skin into consideration.

greaper007

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2014, 09:20:04 PM »
The results of a bike accident, like motorcycles have the potential to be so much more severe than a car that it's not worth it to me.

How do you figure?  Many fatal crashes involve multiple passengers in the car.  Only one person's ever going to die on a bike; it's a very small percentage of people who carry a kid with them.

almost everyone in my running club has also been hit by a car. I guess roads are just dangerous.

This is the key that everyone misses.  It's not biking that is dangerous, it is cars.  Cars that hit bikers.  Cars that hit pedestrians.  Cars that hit wildlife, and children.  Cars that pollute our atmosphere.  Cars that require you send your money to terrorist states to fuel them.  Cars the encourage urban sprawl.  Cars that contribute to our national obesity epidemic.  Cars cars cars.

Why does everyone automatically assume it is biking that is dangerous when a car hits a cyclist, when clearly it is the car that did all the damage?

Exactly, am I the only one who's very satisfied by the fact that I'm almost guaranteed not to kill anyone when I'm on a bike?  It's not unheard of for a bike to kill a pedestrian, but it's certainly extremely unlikely in the car-heavy areas people are usually so afraid of biking in.  I guess I'm only supposed to take my own skin into consideration.

I don't know, maybe I'm strange but I generally care more about my or my family's life than someone else's.

totoro

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2014, 09:32:58 PM »
Not yet another discussion on bike v. car.

I don't bike.  I walk.  Much safer.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/i-will-not-be-biking-to-work/msg103110/#msg103110

bogart

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2014, 09:49:59 PM »
Quaintly believing in real data and analyses when they are available (which, of course, is too seldom), I posted the following in a comment on that original blog entry --

Quote
An article entitled “Motor Vehicle Crash Injury Rates by Mode of Travel, United States: Using Exposure-Based Methods to Quantify Differences” that can be found online, full text, free, here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17449891 reports the following fatality rates per 100 million person-trips (not per mile) for 1999-2003 in the US:
Passenger vehicle: 9.2
Motorcycle: 536.6
Walking: 13.7
Bicycle: 21.0
Bus: 0.4

And the following nonfatal injury rates for the same time interval, same denominator —
Passenger vehicle: 803.0
Motorcycle: 10,336.6
Walking: 215.5
Bicycle: 1,461.2
Bus: 160.8

I don’t think it’s available full-text online free, but an interesting abstract from an article published this year looking at safety during short road trips in Holland — yes, Holland — finds cars safer than bikes:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=How+does+a+modal+shiftfrom+short+car+trips+to+cycling+affect+road+safety (to quote: “The results suggest that, under conditions such as in Dutch municipalities, transferring short trips made by cars to bicycles does not change the number of fatalities, but increases the number of serious road injuries.”).

And sure, those discount the benefits derived from the exercise involved in biking.  OTOH they probably also understate the relative injury rate, since I'd guess the average bike trip is shorter than the average car trip.

Looking at my own transportation requirements, and with an interest in reducing my car costs and environmental footprint (and increasing my exercise), I'm doing a bit of bicycling -- I do have relatively safe options for some of same, running errands near my home or work (two different locations, and I keep a bike each place) -- but mostly focusing on relying more on public transportation, which is clearly far safer than either of the other two readily available options (driving my car, biking).

Your circumstances may be different, and of course those reported rates aren't perfect representations of reality, but in case they're of some use in making your decision ...

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2014, 10:51:52 PM »
Biking isn't safer than driving, no way.

F = M * A

When big M meets little M, F will be the same for both.   This has the undesired effect of making A really big for little M.

Really big A is bad.   Very bad.

I will stick with my big M (5,000 pound truck) and take my little M on bike paths well away from other big Ms.

Guardian

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2014, 04:46:06 AM »
Welcome to the forums.

Here's your facepunch.

You're over-analyzing all of this. You're simply afraid. Keep biking. Learn to be more aware.


shelivesthedream

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2014, 04:57:38 AM »
Why does everyone automatically assume it is biking that is dangerous when a car hits a cyclist, when clearly it is the car that did all the damage?

I think you are conflating danger to the user and danger to others. Biking is more dangerous to the user than driving (less metal surrounding your tiny fragile body but you'll both get up and walk away if you hit a pedestrian) but driving is more totally dangerous (high speed means that if you crash into an inanimate object you will get hurt and let's hope you don't crash into anyone else!).

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2014, 10:14:24 AM »
The statistics are pretty clear. Biking is not more dangerous than driving. Or, to put it another way: Driving may feel safer, but it is just as dangerous as biking.

That said--biking is not a test of your morality or bravery. If you don't like riding in traffic, that's OK. You don't have to do it, and you don't need to justify your choice with bogus arguments. Not every practice of MMM is going to suit every person. It's OK to do some things differently, as long as you've thought about it. It's OK to drive, as long as you understand the tradeoffs you are making.

HappyIntrovert

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2014, 12:01:26 PM »
How do you figure?  Many fatal crashes involve multiple passengers in the car.  Only one person's ever going to die on a bike; it's a very small percentage of people who carry a kid with them.

By severe I mean injuries to the bicycle rider. I feel infinitely more safe with a roll cage and steel around me.


This is the key that everyone misses.  It's not biking that is dangerous, it is cars.  Cars that hit bikers.  Cars that hit pedestrians.  Cars that hit wildlife, and children.  Cars that pollute our atmosphere.  Cars that require you send your money to terrorist states to fuel them.  Cars the encourage urban sprawl.  Cars that contribute to our national obesity epidemic.  Cars cars cars.

Why does everyone automatically assume it is biking that is dangerous when a car hits a cyclist, when clearly it is the car that did all the damage?

Bottom line is that I don't trust other drivers. Isn't that why we're taught to drive defensively?  There are too many distracted or incompetent idiots on the road to trust my well being on a bicycle around them.   Biking around cars is dangerous.  True the cars cause most of the danger, but facts are facts.   Unless you can bike on a car free trail or road, you have to consider the danger that cars present.  And to me, it's not worth it.  I applaud those who feel brave enough to risk injury doing it but it's not for me.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 12:05:06 PM by HappyIntrovert »

totoro

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2014, 12:46:58 PM »
The statistics are pretty clear. Biking is not more dangerous than driving. Or, to put it another way: Driving may feel safer, but it is just as dangerous as biking.

False.  Per mile travelled you are more likely to die on a bike (.039 fatalities per million miles) than in a car (.016 fatalities per million miles).  The risk is 2.5 greater to die cycling (not factoring health benefits if you get no exercise otherwise).

You'd need to post a source for your statement and this topic has been exhaustively examine with posting of the stats here:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/i-will-not-be-biking-to-work/msg103110/#msg103110


CanuckExpat

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2014, 02:05:36 PM »
Hi G3, sorry to hear you had such a bad experience on one of your first times out. I can definitely understand that would be scary and want to make you take a break from biking.
The good news is, despite what sounds like a bad accident, you still walked away from it relatively unharmed (hopefully your bike did as well). That is a pretty good outcome considering you had no metal cage around you, and you were hit by  drunk driver in a dangerous large vehicle. If anything, that is a vote for the safety of biking in even bad conditions, though I'm sure that doesn't help you now :)

Good luck,  I hope you can venture back out to biking, and don't have to contribute to driving and making the roads more dangerous for everyone else as a result :)

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2014, 02:10:30 PM »
The statistics are pretty clear. Biking is not more dangerous than driving. Or, to put it another way: Driving may feel safer, but it is just as dangerous as biking.

False.  Per mile travelled you are more likely to die on a bike (.039 fatalities per million miles) than in a car (.016 fatalities per million miles).  The risk is 2.5 greater to die cycling (not factoring health benefits if you get no exercise otherwise).

You'd need to post a source for your statement and this topic has been exhaustively examine with posting of the stats here:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/i-will-not-be-biking-to-work/msg103110/#msg103110

You're correct if you count fatalities per mile. I'm correct if you count fatalities per hour of activity (actually, cycling is somewhat safer than driving).

Quote
COMPARATIVE RISK OF DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES
 Estimates of Fatal Risk

 
                                              fatalities
  Activity                                per million hrs
  --------                                ---------------
  Skydiving                                     128.71
  General Aviation                               15.58
  On-road Motorcycling                            8.80
  Scuba Diving                                    1.98
  Living (all causes of death)                    1.53
  Swimming                                        1.07
  Snowmobiling                                     .88
  Passenger cars                                   .47
  Water skiing                                     .28
  Bicycling                                        .26
  Flying (scheduled domestic airlines)             .15
  Hunting                                          .08
  Cosmic Radiation from transcontinental flights   .035
  Home Living (active)                             .027
  Traveling in a School Bus                        .022
  Passenger Car Post-collision fire                .017
  Home Living, active & passive (sleeping)         .014
  Residential Fire                                 .003



 Compiled by Failure Analysis Associates, Inc. (Design News, 10-4-93)

Failure Analysis Associates Inc, "Comparative Risk of Different Activities," Design News, October 4, 1993.


It's OK with me not to argue this over again. My point is that if someone finds cycling unpleasant or stressful, it's OK not to do it. But they shouldn't justify their choice by claiming that it's much too dangerous compared to other ordinary activities, or making phony arguments from physics.

beltim

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2014, 02:23:42 PM »

You're correct if you count fatalities per mile. I'm correct if you count fatalities per hour of activity (actually, cycling is somewhat safer than driving).


Since you keep repeating this, let me ask you: why should I care about hours of activity?  I go places, not hours: just because biking takes longer doesn't magically make it safer to go to the grocery store 4 miles away.

totoro

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2014, 02:44:59 PM »
The statistics are pretty clear. Biking is not more dangerous than driving. Or, to put it another way: Driving may feel safer, but it is just as dangerous as biking.

False.  Per mile travelled you are more likely to die on a bike (.039 fatalities per million miles) than in a car (.016 fatalities per million miles).  The risk is 2.5 greater to die cycling (not factoring health benefits if you get no exercise otherwise).

You'd need to post a source for your statement and this topic has been exhaustively examine with posting of the stats here:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/i-will-not-be-biking-to-work/msg103110/#msg103110

You're correct if you count fatalities per mile. I'm correct if you count fatalities per hour of activity (actually, cycling is somewhat safer than driving).

Quote
COMPARATIVE RISK OF DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES
 Estimates of Fatal Risk

 
                                              fatalities
  Activity                                per million hrs
  --------                                ---------------
  Skydiving                                     128.71
  General Aviation                               15.58
  On-road Motorcycling                            8.80
  Scuba Diving                                    1.98
  Living (all causes of death)                    1.53
  Swimming                                        1.07
  Snowmobiling                                     .88
  Passenger cars                                   .47
  Water skiing                                     .28
  Bicycling                                        .26
  Flying (scheduled domestic airlines)             .15
  Hunting                                          .08
  Cosmic Radiation from transcontinental flights   .035
  Home Living (active)                             .027
  Traveling in a School Bus                        .022
  Passenger Car Post-collision fire                .017
  Home Living, active & passive (sleeping)         .014
  Residential Fire                                 .003



 Compiled by Failure Analysis Associates, Inc. (Design News, 10-4-93)

Failure Analysis Associates Inc, "Comparative Risk of Different Activities," Design News, October 4, 1993.


It's OK with me not to argue this over again. My point is that if someone finds cycling unpleasant or stressful, it's OK not to do it. But they shouldn't justify their choice by claiming that it's much too dangerous compared to other ordinary activities, or making phony arguments from physics.

You do realize you are quoting a 21-year old study with no link to source data that can be verified right?   Why in the world would you not simply reference any of the more recent and voluminous studies on this matter carried out by verifiable methods?  See here: http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/almanac-safety.html

You would find:

Risk of death from cycling compared to driving.

It is difficult to calculate accurately because we don't know the number of bicycle miles traveled in the U.S. annually, because the sources disagree so strongly:

150 billion
Consumer Product Safety Commission "Bicycle Study (PDF)" (doc. #344), 1991. States 67M cyclists riding 15B hours. Frankly, this figure is not very believable.

6 to 21 billion
U.S. Dept. of Trans. / Fed. Hwy Admin. "The Environmental Benefits of Bicycling and Walking", 1993

6.2 billion
Bureau of Transportation Statistics, National Household Travel Survey, 2001

So we'll compare risk at both the 6.2 billion and 21 billion miles traveled levels.
784 cyclists died in 2005 (p. 86). That would make the death rate 0.37 to 1.26 deaths per 10 million miles.

33,041 motorists/passengers died (p. 86) from 3 trillion miles traveled (p. 15), making their death rate 0.11 per 10 million miles traveled.

So cyclists are either 3.4x or 11.5x as likely to die as motorists, per passenger mile. 

U.S. cyclists are three more likely to be killed than German cyclists and six times more than Dutch cyclists, whether compared per-trip or per-distance traveled. (Reuters, Aug. 28, 2003, by Maggie Fox)

Cyclist fatalities occurred more frequently in urban areas (66%), at nonintersection locations (67%), between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. (30%), and during the months of June, July, and August (36%). (NHTSA, 2004)

89% of fatal bike crashes in NYC occurred at or within 25 feet of intersections. ("Bicyclist Fatalities and Serious Injuries in New York City", PDF, NYC government, 2005)

33% of cycling fatalies were at intersections. (Treehugger, 2009)

Most deaths on major roads. Fifty-seven percent of bicycle deaths in 1999 occurred on major roads, and 37 percent occurred on local roads. (6)

Streets with bike lanes have a significantly lower crash rate then either major or minor streets without any bicycle facilities (38 and 56% respectively). (William Moritz, 1998)

Texas leads cycling deaths. Texas ranks 14th in number of cyclist fatalities per capita. (5)

Four states lead cycling deaths. Four states (California, Florida, New York, and Texas) accounted for 43% of bicycle deaths in 1999. (6)

Injuries dwarf fatalities.  630 cyclists died in the U.S. in 2009, vs. 51,000 who were injured. (Treehugger, 2009)

Risk of injury from cycling compared to driving. 45,000 cyclists vs. 2.4M motorists were injured in 2005, from traveling 6.2 billion milies and 1.6 M-M miles respectively, yielding 7.3 injuries per million miles for cyclists and 1.5 injuries per million miles traveled for motorists, making cyclists 4.9 times more likely to be injured per mile of travel. NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2005 (PDF)

Testosterone kills.  Male riders are seven times more likely to end up a fatality than a female cyclist, and four times more likely to be injured. (Treehugger, 2009)

Kinds of crashes.  Falls account for 59% of all crashes, running into a fixed object 14%, moving motor vehicles were involved in 11%, and another bicycle in 9%. (Moritz, 1998)

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2014, 02:50:44 PM »

You're correct if you count fatalities per mile. I'm correct if you count fatalities per hour of activity (actually, cycling is somewhat safer than driving).


Since you keep repeating this, let me ask you: why should I care about hours of activity?  I go places, not hours: just because biking takes longer doesn't magically make it safer to go to the grocery store 4 miles away.

In the world I live in, it takes time to go places. You can't have distance without time. If I want to go somewhere, I usually also want to know how long it will take to get there, whether I ride, drive, or fly. When you want to go to a movie, do you find out when it starts, and figure out what time you need to leave? Or do you just assume that it won't start until you show up, whenever that might be?
I also like to think about how I spend the finite 24 hours I am given every day. It's more meaningful to me to know, "If I do this, I will spend an hour on my bike" than "If I do this, it will be eleventy-point-two miles." 

And there's really no need for the snotty tone of your reply.


Edit: fixed quote tree.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 07:19:43 PM by NoraLenderbee »

beltim

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2014, 03:12:28 PM »

You're correct if you count fatalities per mile. I'm correct if you count fatalities per hour of activity (actually, cycling is somewhat safer than driving).


Since you keep repeating this, let me ask you: why should I care about hours of activity?  I go places, not hours: just because biking takes longer doesn't magically make it safer to go to the grocery store 4 miles away.

In the world I live in, it takes time to go places. You can't have distance without time. If I want to go somewhere, I usually also want to know how long it will take to get there, whether I ride, drive, or fly. When you want to go to a movie, do you find out when it starts, and figure out what time you need to leave? Or do you just assume that it won't start until you show up, whenever that might be?
I also like to think about how I spend the finite 24 hours I am given every day. It's more meaningful to me to know, "If I do this, I will spend an hour on my bike" than "If I do this, it will be eleventy-point-two miles." 

And there's really no need for the snotty tone of your reply.

I apologize if my tone came across as snotty – it was not intended to be so.

My point, however, which you didn't address, is that one travels to places.  So the movie theater, to use your example, is a certain distance away, regardless of the method you use to get there.  A comparison of how safe it is to get to that movie theater is either: risk per mile, multiplied by miles, or risk per hour, multiplied by hours.  The first method allows comparisons among different methods of travel without knowing the different speeds.  The second method (yours), requires knowledge of the relative speeds of the two methods.  I don't understand why you want to use the second method, when it requires additional information, when we could just use the first method to get an answer directly.  Does that make sense?

waltworks

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2014, 03:59:52 PM »
4 quick points:
1: Riding a bike is more dangerous, per mile, than driving, and that's probably the best way (distance) to compare.
2: Both are very safe, in reality, and the risk should not particularly deter you from either one (you could order all your food/purchases delivered and never leave your house, right?) We're not talking about supercross racing/skydiving to the grocery store here.
3: If you don't otherwise exercise at all, cycling is probably a net gain in life expectancy.
4: A variety of arguments could be made that driving a car endangers everyone else and as such your driving is making you a little safer and everyone else a little less safe (crashes, emissions, social cost of paying for chronic illness from lack of exercise) for a total net loss to society. Classic collective action problem there, of course, but from a moral standpoint you could argue cycling wins.

-W

totoro

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2014, 04:04:19 PM »
4 quick points:
1: Riding a bike is more dangerous, per mile, than driving, and that's probably the best way (distance) to compare.
2: Both are very safe, in reality, and the risk should not particularly deter you from either one (you could order all your food/purchases delivered and never leave your house, right?) We're not talking about supercross racing/skydiving to the grocery store here.
3: If you don't otherwise exercise at all, cycling is probably a net gain in life expectancy.
4: A variety of arguments could be made that driving a car endangers everyone else and as such your driving is making you a little safer and everyone else a little less safe (crashes, emissions, social cost of paying for chronic illness from lack of exercise) for a total net loss to society. Classic collective action problem there, of course, but from a moral standpoint you could argue cycling wins.

-W

Yes - which is why walking is always my first choice.  I think the risks with biking are low - just more than driving.  Lots of other reasons not to drive.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2014, 05:41:08 PM »
So what are the odds of dying on the ISS (not on the rocket to it or reentry, but just while in space?)

Considering it orbits the earth at 17,227 miles an hour, a person who stays on the ISS for three months travels 37,210,320 miles.

A stay on the ISS is by far safer than any other mode of travel if we rate by miles.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2014, 06:24:43 PM »
No interest in debating the point, since it's already been argued to death in numerous threads, but I'll chime in to +1 what sol said up thread.

Biking for financial savings is only one factor (my spreadsheet currently has only a $0.20 differential between bike miles and car miles). I do it mainly for the environmental and health/mood benefit. Plus, it's goddamn fun, even in the midst of city traffic! You can also see so much more when on a bike, so it's a great way to explore areas you'd normally zoom through on your motorized throne.

For the sake of the future, people need to be not so damn afraid. Otherwise the inertia of driving's popularity will never be shifted.

If you live in the right kind of neighborhood, walking is great too, but mine's a bit too spread out to do ONLY walking.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2014, 06:26:17 PM »
Also, my kids absolutely love the sense of speed when going downhill, and the day I nearly killed my legs to bike all the way downtown was worth it to see their reactions when they could see the "ginormous" buildings from the luxury of their open-air convertible.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Mustachianism almost killed me!
« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2014, 07:24:04 PM »

You're correct if you count fatalities per mile. I'm correct if you count fatalities per hour of activity (actually, cycling is somewhat safer than driving).


Since you keep repeating this, let me ask you: why should I care about hours of activity?  I go places, not hours: just because biking takes longer doesn't magically make it safer to go to the grocery store 4 miles away.

In the world I live in, it takes time to go places. You can't have distance without time. If I want to go somewhere, I usually also want to know how long it will take to get there, whether I ride, drive, or fly. When you want to go to a movie, do you find out when it starts, and figure out what time you need to leave? Or do you just assume that it won't start until you show up, whenever that might be?
I also like to think about how I spend the finite 24 hours I am given every day. It's more meaningful to me to know, "If I do this, I will spend an hour on my bike" than "If I do this, it will be eleventy-point-two miles." 

And there's really no need for the snotty tone of your reply.

I apologize if my tone came across as snotty – it was not intended to be so.

My point, however, which you didn't address, is that one travels to places.  So the movie theater, to use your example, is a certain distance away, regardless of the method you use to get there.  A comparison of how safe it is to get to that movie theater is either: risk per mile, multiplied by miles, or risk per hour, multiplied by hours.  The first method allows comparisons among different methods of travel without knowing the different speeds.  The second method (yours), requires knowledge of the relative speeds of the two methods.  I don't understand why you want to use the second method, when it requires additional information, when we could just use the first method to get an answer directly.  Does that make sense?



Yes; however, it is important to remember that there's more than one way to look at the data.