another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

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Flinders
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby Flinders » 22 Jun 2015, 9:07pm

Going back to pete's post about why it seems that women and tipper trucks are involved in accidents out of all proportion, I was discussing this with another friend, who, like me, used to cycle in London. All we could come up with bar the usual thing that women tend not to 'take the lane' as much as men was that women tend not to cycle as fast, and this can make a cyclist more vulnerable to being cut in on, and then my friend raised another point I hadn't thought of- are women more likely to use straight bars than drop bars?

Straight bars stick out further, and we both remembered occasions where we'd been glad we had drop bars in close calls. He remembered one in particular where he was overtaken by a bus when overtaking a bus, and the two buses then closed in on each other. He'd had to stay between the wheel arches to avoid being clipped on the pedals, and if he had had straight bars, he'd not have stood much of a chance. :shock:

On reflection, we thought that being clipped on the end of a straight bar could easily throw/pull a bike under a vehicle in various different scenarios. And a lot of drivers really don't think even drop bar bikes are as wide as they are at the best of times.

Of course, this is not to blame anyone, it is merely an attempt to try to work out why women seem particularly vulnerable to this sort of vehicle, and I can only offer all possible sympathy to the family and friends of the cyclist in this incident, as I'm sure we all do.

Pete Owens
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby Pete Owens » 22 Jun 2015, 9:47pm

661-Pete wrote:When is this statistical imbalance going to be properly explained by experts? So far all we have had is waffle.


This report:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22931179
seems to give the most plausible explanation. They questionned a large number of cyclists about their perceived risk of various cycling manoevres and found that females were less likely to consider nearside overtaking risky and thus more likely to do it. It would be useful to back the sudy up with field observations to see if actual behaviour of male and female cyclists is consistent with this self-reporting.

xjs
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby xjs » 22 Jun 2015, 10:56pm

Regarding the handlebars point, it would be interesting to know if there's a pattern in the style of bike ridden by the unfortunate people who get killed - if you're taken by surprise, is it also easier to stop quickly and not lose your balance on a light road bike than on a heavier "classic" ladies' bike or something like a Boris bike?

And I wonder if people on these bikes imitate other (perhaps more experienced) city cyclists' filtering manoeuvres, without realising they're on bikes that are heavier-handling and less well balanced/poised... I feel more balanced when I'm out of the saddle when I'm filtering in London, and I guess it's harder to do that on certain styles of bike.

All very sad, anyway, and condolences to all.

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mjr
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby mjr » 22 Jun 2015, 11:16pm

London hire bikes are very well balanced, what with all the weight! Few casualties are riding them, are they?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Flinders
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby Flinders » 23 Jun 2015, 10:32am

xjs wrote:Regarding the handlebars point, it would be interesting to know if there's a pattern in the style of bike ridden by the unfortunate people who get killed - if you're taken by surprise, is it also easier to stop quickly and not lose your balance on a light road bike than on a heavier "classic" ladies' bike or something like a Boris bike?

And I wonder if people on these bikes imitate other (perhaps more experienced) city cyclists' filtering manoeuvres, without realising they're on bikes that are heavier-handling and less well balanced/poised... I feel more balanced when I'm out of the saddle when I'm filtering in London, and I guess it's harder to do that on certain styles of bike.

All very sad, anyway, and condolences to all.


That's also an good point about weight.

A slightly different point comes to mind from friend here who has a road bike and a heavier straight bar hybrid. It seems odd to me, but she feels safer on the hybrid even on the road. I think this may be because the road bike, being stiffer, has more responsive steering - a bit like someone preferring to ride a chunky pony than a thoroughbred, but perhaps she also prefers the straight bars and more upright position.
I do stay on top of the drops in heavy traffic because it gives a better view, and makes me more visible as a small person, but I have additional cross top brakes so I can still brake fast and hard wherever I am.

kwackers
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby kwackers » 23 Jun 2015, 11:41am

xjs wrote:Regarding the handlebars point, it would be interesting to know if there's a pattern in the style of bike ridden by the unfortunate people who get killed - if you're taken by surprise, is it also easier to stop quickly and not lose your balance on a light road bike than on a heavier "classic" ladies' bike or something like a Boris bike?

Your assumption being these bikes are more likely to be involved in accidents? Yet Boris bikes have much better safety records don't they? If weight was an issue then it suggests that light bikes are more dangerous...

IME it's harder to 'lose' a Boris bike, you're also not going to be clipped in so may find it easier to leave the bike in a hurry. Perhaps maintenance is better? Perhaps other drivers give them a wider berth? Perhaps it's because they're slower? Perhaps the upright riding position makes the rider more visible (and poke out above other vehicles).
Could be a whole multitude of reasons...

toomsie
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby toomsie » 23 Jun 2015, 2:04pm

I would like to know how many roadies get killed every year and how many of them are woman . Those women are going to be much faster then a pavement chav.

toomsie
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby toomsie » 23 Jun 2015, 2:09pm

mjr wrote:London hire bikes are very well balanced, what with all the weight! Few casualties are riding them, are they?


I wonder if Boris bike are over represented regarding serious accidents. But in my experiance Boris bikes feel very safe so I assume that heavy ladies bike also do.

Flinders
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby Flinders » 23 Jun 2015, 2:49pm

toomsie wrote:
mjr wrote:London hire bikes are very well balanced, what with all the weight! Few casualties are riding them, are they?


I wonder if Boris bike are over represented regarding serious accidents. But in my experiance Boris bikes feel very safe so I assume that heavy ladies bike also do.


I was wondering whether feeling safe and being safe are always the same thing. I'm not sure they are when it comes to broad handlebars.
It's certainly true that you can feel safer in the gutter than in primary, especially at first. But it isn't generally thought to be safer.

geocycle
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby geocycle » 23 Jun 2015, 3:04pm

Is it simply a question of experience? I guess that there are more experienced male cyclists than female cyclists? On average I'd expect an experienced cyclists to make the right choices WRT HGVs more often than inexperienced ones. This could correlate to riding style and bike choices. Although to contradict myself more experience could lead to more risk taking. Whatever, the reasons it is a scandal that must be stopped.

kwackers
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby kwackers » 23 Jun 2015, 3:36pm

geocycle wrote:Although to contradict myself more experience could lead to more risk taking. Whatever, the reasons it is a scandal that must be stopped.

In pretty much every activity where there's risk you find a bath shaped curve of casualties vs time.
In essence at the start of the curve are the noobs who's inexperience lets them down, then that rapidly drops to a baseline where folk have gathered experience and are relatively safe and then slowly starts to rise again where experience gives way to overconfidence...

No reason to see why cycling is any different.

Flinders
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby Flinders » 23 Jun 2015, 3:39pm

geocycle wrote:Is it simply a question of experience? I guess that there are more experienced male cyclists than female cyclists? On average I'd expect an experienced cyclists to make the right choices WRT HGVs more often than inexperienced ones. This could correlate to riding style and bike choices. Although to contradict myself more experience could lead to more risk taking. Whatever, the reasons it is a scandal that must be stopped.


Certainly some of those involved have been very experienced, so I suspect there must be more to it than that - and there are plenty of inexperienced males out there. The gender separation when it comes to these specific vehicles is very apparent. I wonder if size has an effect- a taller cyclist would be more visible in the mirrors on these specific vehicles, perhaps? But there are plenty of small males, though probably fewer, so it can't just be that either. It could be as simple as that drivers drive closer to and/or cut in more on female cyclists, possibly on the assumption that they will be slow.

There is clearly a need for someone who understands risk assessment to go carefully through all these cases to see if there is a pattern - and to do it now so something can be done about it if at all possible. I wonder if anyone has looked to see if there is the same pattern with females and this sort of vehicle occuring elsewhere, possibly in other countries if not here? If not, why not?

Flinders
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby Flinders » 23 Jun 2015, 3:40pm

kwackers wrote:
geocycle wrote:Although to contradict myself more experience could lead to more risk taking. Whatever, the reasons it is a scandal that must be stopped.

In pretty much every activity where there's risk you find a bath shaped curve of casualties vs time.
In essence at the start of the curve are the noobs who's inexperience lets them down, then that rapidly drops to a baseline where folk have gathered experience and are relatively safe and then slowly starts to rise again where experience gives way to overconfidence...

No reason to see why cycling is any different.



That seems sensible. But it doesn't explain the gender gap when it comes to these incidents.

Mark1978
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby Mark1978 » 23 Jun 2015, 3:58pm

Flinders wrote:That seems sensible. But it doesn't explain the gender gap when it comes to these incidents.


Is there a gender gap? Are there available stats?

kwackers
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Re: another cyclist killed by a lorry in London

Postby kwackers » 23 Jun 2015, 4:20pm

Mark1978 wrote:
Flinders wrote:That seems sensible. But it doesn't explain the gender gap when it comes to these incidents.


Is there a gender gap? Are there available stats?

I wasn't putting it forward as a gender thing, just something of note.
IMO though there almost certainly is one although one that in theory would favour women. I'd suggest that women are less likely to become overconfident...

But then watching cyclists on the road the issue is rarely overconfidence and simply just having confidence. As I cycle past streams of stationary vehicles on the outside I often pass cyclists gingerly picking their way up the inside - that's got to be a confidence thing. Throw in gutter cycling and other such stuff and I'm sure it all adds up. (My missus doesn't like cycling out from the gutter, she thinks she's both vulnerable and 'in the way'.)