Monday, April 11

Cycling is the Dangerous Activity?

And Driving is Safe? My daughter's friend's car. Seen last weekend. Oops!
I'm constantly told by people at work that cycling is a dangerous activity. Many of them have experienced situations such as one of my daughter's friends recently encountered. Speaking of which, my daughter, upon encountering a spider in her dad's Jaguar, promptly drove off the road and crushed the front suspension on the nearest curb. And it is CYCLING that is the danger?

From the NHTSA website:

"DOT Estimates Three Percent Drop Beneath 2009 Record Low

"U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the number and rate of traffic fatalities in 2010 fell to the lowest levels since 1949, despite a significant increase in the number of miles Americans drove during the year.

"Last year's drop in traffic fatalities is welcome news and it proves that we can make a difference," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Still, too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in preventable roadway tragedies every day. We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first."

"According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) early projections, the number of traffic fatalities fell three percent between 2009 and 2010, from 33,808 to 32,788."

I've often heard it said that modern cars are safer. While they're certainly no safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other nonmotorized road users, it is a VERY good thing that they're safer for drivers. Entire too many of them are killing themselves and each other. On the other hand, the same NHTSA site didn't actually SAY how safe cycling was in 2010. The newest data if you're a cyclist is for 2009, when 630 were killed in crashes with cars. There was no word on how many cyclists were killed as a result of crashes into walls, heart attacks, or other causes. I guess that shall remain a mystery.

3 comments:

Jon said...

When I was recently hit by a car on the way home from work, it caused a lot of concern at work. One of the guys in the "I can't believe you are still riding" school flipped his car end-over-end three times, broke his back, and had to go through about 6 months of rehab, last year.

Nobody ever said to him, "I can't believe you are still driving."

Khal said...

Sorry about the Jaguar. When I was a kid, my mom drove our '57 Chevy off the road and into a series of rebar-cored yellow cement pillars marking a curve as a result of a moth flying into her face. Totalled the car. We were all OK (my mom, me, and my kid brother Steven). I still remember the crash, seeming in slow motion, as the car plowed into the posts one by one. Kind of a noise like

bam..bam...bam....bam.....bam......bam......bam.
Seven of the suckers. Pushed the radiator back into the block, a straight six.

PaddyAnne said...

A girl at work just feel asleep at the wheel. It was mid-morning on a Sat. She was very lucky not to have hurt anyone, or herself, just the car. I'm not sure this would have happened to her if she was riding a bike. A car, no matter what its age, model or make, is only as safe as the awareness and maturity of its driver. I personally think all the new gadgets in cars allow fools to drive them, instead of those with talent and skill.

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