Thursday, May 28, 2009

Of course, this just means we should give motorists even more

The Toronto Star has an interesting series on the conflict between cars and bikes in Toronto. But if you really want to know which side of the conflict to weep for, I suggest you read this:
Q: Is there a misconception about who causes more accidents? Is it drivers or cyclists?

A: A New York study called Killed By Automobile took a look at over 1,000 traffic fatalities involving vulnerable road users, with an eye to figuring out who was primarily at fault.

The study showed that drivers were largely culpable in 74 per cent of all of accidents and partially culpable in another 16 per cent. Interestingly, one of the big findings was ... that 97 per cent of the drivers in cases of fatal accidents involving cyclists were male. It is highly unlikely to get that kind of statistic by random chance. One of the things we know about young men is that they tend to be the most aggressive drivers on the road. If you take a look at statistics around street racing and other indicators of aggressive driving, young males are the group that are overrepresented. This says there is something about the way particular groups of people drive that puts vulnerable road users at higher risk.
That's a staff physician at St. Mikes. This is a pretty one-sided war.


Anonymous said...

That's not surprising.
But I've had different experiences.
I've never seen a biker that stops at a stop light, or use any hand signals. I constantly see them cutting people off, demanding the right of way in traffic.
You make your choice about what transportation you take. And the fact of the matter is that your not going to win a fight with a 2000lb vehicle, no matter whose fault it is. That is a risk you take when you get on a bike and use the same roads as a car.
Human stupidity is more prevalent on the roads than anywhere else, and is the only constant in this universe.
But I think bikers should assume responsibility for the risks they take when biking, and stop blaming everyone else for the choice they make.
If everyone rode bikes it would be different. But not everyone does, and you chose to be vulnerable on the road, no one forces you.
So take some responsibility and realize its YOUR choice and you don't have to risk your life biking to work.

john said...

Well, I don't know where you live, but I see plenty of cyclists use hand signals. Nevertheless, it's an odd ethical framework that demands the most care from the people who are the most vulnerable, and who can do the least harm from their carelessness.