Cars Cause Most Bike-Car Crashes

August 23, 2009

ghost bike

Photo via BikePortland.org

Dr. Chris Cavacuiti, a Toronto physician who cycles competitively, started doing some research into how most bike-versus-car collisions happen while recovering from a nasty bike-versus-car collision. His findings:

While there is a public perception that cyclists are usually the cause of accidents between cars and bikes, an analysis of Toronto police collision reports shows otherwise: The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so. The second most common crash type involved a motorist overtaking unsafely. The third involved a motorist opening a door onto an oncoming cyclist. The study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 percent of bike-car accidents in this study.

I can find that pretty easy to believe, actually. In most cities—and certainly in Los Angeles—cars rule the road. So drivers are attuned to check against potential car-car accidents but don’t think as much about potential car-bike accidents. When you park your car on the street you might check your side-view mirror for cars before you open your door, but you’d be less likely to check your rear-view mirror for cyclists coming up behind you. Also, you just generally feel more exposed and focused on a bike than in a car, so you’re more careful.

What’s way more perplexing to me is this animosity between “cyclists” and “drivers” as if we don’t all do a little of both.

via Good

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2 Responses to “Cars Cause Most Bike-Car Crashes”

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