Re: Accuracy of historical bicycle miles travelled and cyclist casualty rates.
Posted: 5 Jan 2019, 12:03am
thirdcrank wrote:I'd take some convincing that there's any benefit to cyclists or cycling from stats about casualty rates, although accuracy is always to be preferred.
The most obvious outcome is that air travel is somehow best and cycling the worst. All that tells is what we know already ie that cyclists are vulnerable in comparison with the occupants of motor vehicles. If it were to be possible to collect and compare data measuring distances ridden on, say, ordinary roads, cycle lanes, cycle tracks (ie segregated provision) that still wouldn't factor in the crap provision as compared with the decent stuff.
The case for cycling is already pretty obvious in terms of things like the health benefits and sustainability. It's also pretty obvious that motor vehicles can travel faster and so go further in a given time. The big problem is that policies which acknowledge this are politically unacceptable here.
Yes cyclists are vulnerable, however using (IHO) massively inaccurate distances travelled by people on cycles and then using that to come up with a figure of casualty rates per mile does in fact project an image that cycling is far more dangerous than it really is. This DOES have a negative effect on cycling in more than one respect.
One use of casualty rates/numbers is used time and again by many organisations to press for PPE use, it also makes for scary reading from an average joe/person who might be wanting to cycle on the roads but is put off because of the continual focus on persons hurt/killed who use a bike. The stats regarding cycle injuries/deaths and types of injuries are NEVER, ever compared to that of pedestrians, motorvehicle occupants and the general populous unless it's places like here, the fanfare re injury stats on the road are always fanfared when it comes to cycling so the rate of injuries is hugely important.