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Who Causes Cyclists’ Deaths?

September 6, 2009

When it comes to sharing the road with cars, many people seem to assume that such accidents are usually the cyclist’s fault — a result of reckless or aggressive riding. But an analysis of police reports on 2,752 bike-car accidents in Toronto found that clumsy or inattentive driving by motorists was the cause of 90 percent of these crashes. Among the leading causes: running a stop sign or traffic light, turning into a cyclist’s path, or opening a door on a biker.

via Who Causes Cyclists’ Deaths? – Freakonomics Blog – NYTimes.com.

The day after

I bike to and from work. When I bike on the road and use the full lane, which is the safest and my legal right, motorists often intentionally try to squeeze me into parked cars, scream obscenities at me, honk the horn in an attempt to scare me and generally behave poorly. Of course, most often I’m traveling as fast, or faster, than they are through downtown San Diego. Alas, for some reason they feel obliged to rage at me.

When I bike to the side of the road to allow cars to pass I have doors from parked cars open on me, motorists turn  in front of me and cars pull out of parking spots dangerously cutting me off.

It is illegal to bicycle on the sidewalk. Given the aforementioned circumstances I occasionally do. I always bike slowly and considerately when doing so. Even still, I’ve had pedestrians shout obscenities at me, call me names, gesticulate violently and cars almost hit me when using the crosswalk.

Cycling is not a crime. 😦

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One Comment
  1. Ups for the post Aaron – I'm a cycler who spent too much time dodging black cabs bike commuting in London, potholes in Wellington and dead head drivers the 90mile return trip between home and office in Canterbury.

    Like you say, biking's not a crime and, at the end of the day, roads were invented for us originally rather than cars.

    Pedal on!

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