Saturday, April 28, 2007

B.S. for Bike Safety

Here's a link to the NYC bike safety report. It doesn't really say much. Or blame cars enough. And most of the statistics are pretty useless, most often because they have no denominator. What's the use of knowing bike injuries by month if you don't know how many people ride each month?

And despite my dislike of helmets, the fact that only 3% of fatalities involved riders with helmets is pretty damning evidence in favor of helmets. Still, it would mean more if it said what percentage of riders use helmets. I would guess around one-third of all recreational riders. And if you include delivery bikes (as you should), the number probably goes down to one-fourth.

And speaking of not blaming cars enough, the report says the biggest cause of bike crashes is, "bicyclist crossing into a vehicle path [accounting] for 84% of documented bicyclist contributing factors." That's because here in New York, when cars hit bikes, bikes are always to blame and drivers never get cited (unless they're driving drunk down the West Side Bike Path and kill a doctor). To say that bikes cause crashes by going in front of cars is like saying the Jews caused the Holocaust by walking into gas chambers. What bullshit!

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