Author Topic: sunday's are bad for cycling.  (Read 559 times)

jags

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sunday's are bad for cycling.
« on: May 14, 2018, 09:59:27 PM »
just seen this on facebook i gotta be very careful out there.

www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/irish-cycling-accidents-a-graphical-guide-1.3492008


anto.

Danneaux

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 12:13:56 AM »
Good reminder, Anto. Things are bad for cyclists on weekends here as well...Sunday in particular.

All the best,

Dan.

Andre Jute

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 12:44:41 AM »
I posted the text below to another, less well-mannered conference. If any gems of wisdom float through the frothing of the totally committed to various theories of defensive cycling/conspiracies, I'll report them here. That's a really worthwhile article in the Irish Times; well found, Anto!
***

Sunday is the most lethal day for cyclists in Ireland

I wouldn't have thought this still true, considering the decline of religion in Ireland, where "the religious" (meaning Catholic priests and nuns) long had the reputation of the most dangerous drivers on the roads, but the numbers tell us it is true: Sunday is the most lethal day for cyclists in Ireland. See
https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/irish-cycling-accidents-a-graphical-guide-1.3492008
(Link courtesy of my pal Anto Kelly)

Take a gander at the graphic demonstrating the relation of fatalities to the speed limit: it bears out what I always say, that the higher the speed limit on the road, the less use vehicular cycling is for protecting a cyclist's life. That's why I like cycling the smaller roads and lanes, where nobody in his right mind drives even 50kph. But for a commuter, those are depressing numbers.

Compare the two graphs for total fatalities falling while all kinds of other (non-fatal) cycling accidents are increasing rather steeply. Could this be the influence of increased helmet-wearing? There is no law here that enforces helmets but, in the circles in which I ride anyway, there's strong social pressure for wearing helmets; one very rarely see a cyclist without a helmet.

Notice that all the dead cyclists are over 25, and evenly distributed from there upwards around the Irish modal age of 42.7 years. Put it together with another fact, not mentioned in the article, that you rarely see children or teenagers on bikes. In combination these facts do not bode at all well for the future of everyday cycling in Ireland.

Andre Jute
Just the fax, mam

David Simpson

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 01:35:27 AM »
Are there more fatalities on Sunday simply because there are more cyclists on Sunday? A more useful number would be the percentage of cyclists that are killed: number of cyclists killed divided by total number of cyclists on the road at the time.

- DaveS

Andre Jute

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 06:21:36 AM »
Are there more fatalities on Sunday simply because there are more cyclists on Sunday?

Possible. But unlikely in Ireland where people still feel guilty about being seen not to be in church on Sundays. Most Sundays I ride alone.

A more useful number would be the percentage of cyclists that are killed: number of cyclists killed divided by total number of cyclists on the road at the time.

Quite so. Good luck with finding numbers, or uncontentious assumptions, to allow this metric to be established. That Irish Times piece Anto found is based on the most admirably precise and detailed numbers I've ever seen in Ireland.

In fact, the only bicycle accident and fatalities study that comes close is the one conducted in the New York hospitals and police department over the turn of the century. At
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/rec.bicycles.tech/It$20is$20a$20risible$20myth$20that/rec.bicycles.tech/TIJZQMILtkA/yYtnMboR2GAJ
you can see what I was able to deduce between that study and the nicely detailed American national statistics on cycling about how safe cycling in the States generally is, how many more lives could be saved, and so on. (You can ignore the ad hominem that followed; it always does when one mentions helmets.)

You can't do that depth of analysis in Ireland, because we don't know what percentage of the Irish population cycles, though we can guess it is a miserably small fraction. Or, to put it more positively, we are lucky that the Irish Census hasn't taken up cycling, because the collated data from Irish hospitals, which wouldn't be done if there were good Census data, makes a much more useful report.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 06:24:45 AM by Andre Jute »

energyman

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 08:59:22 AM »
If I'm out riding on a Sunday (or any day actually) I pick my routes to avoid busy roads.  I'm lucky where I live so I can go 40 miles without hitting traffic.  It's all in the planning !

PH

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 11:58:21 AM »
There is in my opinion, nothing like enough data in those reports to draw any conclusions.  It looks like the starting point for some analysis rather than the result of it.  If you're going to highlight the day, speed limit, age, or any other element of the casualties you also need to know the usage.  Twice as many deaths on roads with a higher speed limit is meaningless if you don't know the proportion of journeys that use such roads.  Does the age breakdown reflect the age of those cycling?  And as David Simpson asked do the days reflect the number of miles being ridden?  Then there is the delicate subject of blame. I'm not going to go there, but neither does this report. 
Drawing conclusions from any statistics is always fraught with pitfalls, a 50% increase in deaths from one year to the next is horrific, except the numbers are too small to be reliable.  Comparing one five year period to the previous might give a better idea of what's happening, but even then only if all the other factors are taken into account.
To give an idea of just how unreliable statistics without analysis are - Cyclists in the Netherlands are a higher proportion of road fatalities than anywhere else in the EU - you see how useless that is without the context?

I'm not going to get involved in the segregated/vehicular debate.  I love riding in the Netherlands and other countries with better facilities than the UK, but I also love riding in the UK and IMO the thing that makes cycling feel the safest is how many others are doing it.

David Simpson

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2018, 07:05:51 PM »
I would not be surprised if the percentage of collisions on Sundays is higher than on other days. I regularly commute to work on my bike, and I have also sometimes ridden to work on a weekend or holiday. The traffic patterns are different on weekends and holidays. During a normal weekday rush hour, most people (motorists and cyclists) are following their normal routes, and they know the road and traffic patterns well. On the weekends, people are not following usual routes.

I believe that a big cause of collisions is lack of predictability. Someone does something that the other party does not expect. In normal workday traffic, the predictability is much higher than on the weekends, so I would expect the number of collisions to be lower. This applies not only to collisions involving cyclists, but collisions in general.

That's just my theory based on my own experience when riding. I have no evidence to back it up

- DaveS

John Saxby

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 08:43:52 PM »
Thanks for this, Anto.

At first blush, the info suggests that cyclists should be careful on Sundays, and especially, steer clear of Dublin.

As Paul says, though, the data serve to point up points to be explored, such as the reasons for the different numbers of fatalities on roads with different speed limits. The results of collisions at 30, 50, and 80 km/h, for example, are usually quite different, with the higher speeds causing more serious injuries and more deaths.

The matter of usage by cyclists--numbers, daily patterns, and distances--is important, but also motorists' patterns of use, particularly the type of vehicles on the roads. SUVs are especially destructive in collisions with pedestrians, for example, less because of their weight than their front-end geometry--see this article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563506/

I find that "collisions" and "crashes" are more useful words than "accidents" -- whether a collision is an accident, or (say) the result of negligence, is surely a matter of analysis, not  description. (It's interesting that in recent years, the media here in Ottawa now speak of "collisions", not "accidents": A few years ago, on a Sunday morning [!!], the driver of a van crashed into several cyclists who were riding in a well-marked cycling lane on an arterial road, causing death and serious injury. At first, news reports spoke of an "accident". The lawyer for the cyclists challenged the use of the word, asserting that the collision was far from accidental.)

In any case, safe journeys, all -- enjoy the early summer sunshine :)

jags

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 10:28:23 PM »
i'm half thinking the reason for all these deaths and injuries to cyclists is the law is not hard enough on motorists  basically they get away with murder.
the guy that delivers my home heating oil hates cyclists with a passion,he said to me only a few weeks ago if i though i'd get away with it i'd drive over  every single one of them. :'( :'(sad fecker.
but there plenty guys like him driving on our narrow country roads so much so i'm seriously thinking of quitting cycling just getting to dodgy out there.
think i'll take up golf.

anto.

Andre Jute

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2018, 01:29:35 AM »
PH: "...the thing that makes cycling feel the safest is how many others are doing it."

Hallelujah. I think that's a proven case, but much underrated. I also think that the community and legal attitude towards cycling is very important, something touched on in virtually all the remarks here in one or another form. And I take the point that patterns of use are also important, as well as the class of vehicle (I would love to know how many incidents involving cyclists were with heavy goods vehicles).

You can forget better numbers arriving in the foreseeable future. The fortuitous combination of New York's municipal numbers (a complete headcount of cyclists in serious collisions over several years) and the US Census Office numbers (to both of which I gave a link above which contains further links), in combination is the most complete statistical study of cycling incidents ever, anywhere in the world, but their applicability to the situation elsewhere isn't necessarily high (Americans have a different attitude to road deaths, to cite just one of the less obvious reasons). People in business make decisions involving tens and hundreds of millions and hundreds or thousands of jobs on much, much less information than in that Irish Times article. You work with the information you can get. The quest for perfect information will immobilize you.

My conclusion was that cycling, even in the States, is safe enough for competent cyclists. It could be safer, but it isn't a massacre, as some claimed.

Whether cycling on the fast main roads is enjoyable -- this seems to be Jags' measure of quality cycling -- is clearly related to the speed of motor traffic. On the best main road out of my town, the steel barrier rails are attached to deep-planted solid posts, and adorned with protruding metal triangles for reflectors at precisely knee-height to a cyclist, of course more closely spaced at every point where the hard shoulder narrows to less than 12 inches or disappears altogether, pushing the cyclist out into 100kph traffic. A short cycle-track starts after a couple of miles of this knee-demolition derby. West Cork welcomes cyclists!
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 03:35:28 AM by Andre Jute »

Danneaux

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2018, 02:08:50 AM »
Quote
...100mph traffic.
  :o YIKES! :o

Stunned,

Dan.

Andre Jute

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2018, 03:45:53 AM »
Quote
...100mph traffic.
  :o YIKES! :o

Stunned,

Dan.

If only one could rip out a wire and kill autocorrect like one could rip out a wire to stop the irritating nanny-like instructions in a Volvo estate car we once had.

Corrected to kph, which is still a closing speed on the back of a bicycle of 75-85kph, far too high.

Danneaux

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Re: sunday's are bad for cycling.
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2018, 05:56:29 AM »
Quote
If only one could rip out a wire and kill autocorrect l
Ah, of course, Andre, I understand.

Whether one was hit at 100 mph or kph, the end would hopefully be equally quick.

All the best,

Dan.