Cyclists at Fault in Most Car vs Bike Collisions

Cyclists at Fault in Most Car vs Bike Collisions

While cycling is being promoted as safe, clean and energy efficient,  it is an everyday occurrence to see cyclists running stop signs, and even red lights –  seemingly as if laws do not apply to them. While the same is true of cars, the issue appears to be far more significant for cyclists. Rather than rely on anecdotal observation I went to the source to find out the real story. Thanks to the California Highway Patrol I was able to secure data for the years 2011-2012 for the entire state. Previously I had reported on accident figures for the city of San Rafael, but the numbers were arguably too small to be statistically significant. Framing the Data (1) The data only covers instances of collisions between vehicles and bikes – so it is vitally important to remember that it omits all vehicle vs vehicle collisions. I do not have this information, but I would speculate that there were far more vehicle vs. vehicle collisions than there were vehicle vs. bike collisions. (2) The data only covers instances of collisions where there was a stop sign violation, or a red light violation (3) The data combines the years 2011-2012 in order to generate more statistically significant conclusions. This is the most recently available data as of the date of publication (24th April 2014). (4) The CHP informed me that in general there has been a trend of increasing vehicle fault collisions over the past few years caused by texting and smart phone related distractions. (5) The data does not cover any collisions where there was not a stop sign or...
Cyclists Dominant Cause in Car vs Bike Accidents

Cyclists Dominant Cause in Car vs Bike Accidents

While cycling is being strongly promoted by county supervisors and city councils, what is not being promoted is safe cycling. Every day I witness cyclists failing to comply with traffic laws such as stopping at stop signs and red lights. While neither cyclists or motorists are saints, the impression given is that it the violations of the law by cyclists were much more commonplace. So I asked the City of San Rafael Police department if they had any data that might shed light on the real situation.   Accidents Between Cars and Bicycles, March 2013- March 2014, San Rafael, CA #Collisions:        30 Driver at Fault:   11 (37%) Cyclist at Fault:  15 (50%) Mutual Fault:      3 (10%) Undetermined:   1 (3%) This clearly shows a story where cyclists are significantly more in the wrong – 50% vs 37%. Stopping At Red Lights A major concern is that few cyclists adhere to the law of stopping at a red light. Here are the statistics for March 2013 – March 2014: Accidents between cars and bikes #failure to stop at a Red Light: 2 Cyclist at Fault:                      2 (100%) Motorist at Fault:                    0 Obtaining a Larger Sample Size: California 2012 Stats On the Way Now this isn’t exactly the largest sample size – these are representative of a city of roughly 57,000 people over a 12 month period. In the interests of obtaining numbers with statistical significance I have been following up with the CHP to obtain...