Cycling in the United States is not merely aggravating - for both cyclists and drivers of gasoline- and oil-burning vehicles - it is also dangerous.
Recent statistics from the OECD show that the United States, mile for mile, is the most dangerous place in the advanced world to cycle.
Here are a few choice stats thanks to Matt Phillips:
*Roughly “17% of all cycling fatalities were involved in a hit-and-run crash in which one (or several) of their crash opponents fled the scene (2005-2011, FARS) – presumably the motorist(s). This is nearly four times the rate of hit-and-run involvement for all recorded traffic fatalities over the same period in the United States (4%).”
*“Investigating officers on the scene of fatal bicycle crashes in the United States found no contributory factor on the part of the motorist in 46% of cases.”
*“An overwhelming majority of fatal bicycle crashes occur in dry or clear atmospheric conditions – 94% in the USA and 87% in Europe.”
*“One quarter of (deceased) cyclists for which an alcohol test was performed returned blood alcohol values above 0.08 mg/ltr which constitutes a drink-driving offense in all 50 US states.”
*“In the United States, most fatal bicycle-vehicle collisions involved a passenger car or light truck (Sports Utility Vehicle) though 10% of fatal bicycle collisions involved a large truck.”
*“In the United States, 36% of all fatal bicycle crashes for the period 2005-2011 occurred in junctions with another 4% in driveways (commercial and private) most likely caused by entering or exiting motor vehicles.”
*“In the United States, the share of fatal bicycle crashes occurring in low-speed zones was lower than in Europe – possibly because low-speed traffic calmed zones are relatively less common in the United States.”
*“In the United States, 27% of deceased cyclists for which helmet use was recorded wore helmets in 2010 and 2011.”
*“Red light running by cyclists … is an often-cited contributory factor in fatal and serious injury bicycle crashes (at least in the United States).”
*“Motorists were charged with traffic violations in nearly one third of all fatal bicycle crashes and investigating officers identified a crash-contributing factor on the part of the motorist in over half of all fatal bicycle crashes.”
*“Data from the United States indicate that cyclists were imputed with an improper action in 68% of fatal bicycle crashes (though, as noted earlier, this may be biased as the cyclist was not able to give their version of events).”
Japan, in spite of a lack of infrastructure, is much safer thanks primarily we think because of greater awareness on the part of drivers.
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