Smart cycling

August 19th, 2009

What do drivers and cyclists need to know to share the road safely?

Dr. Chris Cavacuiti of the department of family and community medicine is a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and an experienced cyclist who commutes on his bicycle and races competitively. He was recovering from a serious cycling accident when he began his research on cycling health and safety.

You were recovering from a cycling accident when you began your research—tell us about this.

In 2006 I was hit by a truck while training for an Ironman race. The collision left me with fractured ribs, a broken collarbone, and a shattered shoulder blade. The driver was charged and convicted for making an unsafe turn. As a physician interested in research, I used my recovery time to review the current research on cycling health and safety. I quickly came to realize that there is powerful evidence that with the proper investment in cycling infrastructure, accidents like mine would happen far less often.

Who causes accidents—cyclists or drivers?

While there is a public perception that cyclists are usually the cause of accidents between cars and bikes, an analysis of Toronto police collision reports shows otherwise: The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so. The second most common crash type involved a motorist overtaking unsafely. The third involved a motorist opening a door onto an oncoming cyclist. The study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents in this study.

The available evidence suggests that collisions have far more to do with aggressive driving than aggressive cycling.

So what can we do to reduce bike-car accidents?

There is a wide variety of effective strategies that can reduce motorist/cyclist collisions. Many European countries have far lower rates of cycling fatalities than we do in Canada, despite having roads that are narrower and more crowded than ours. They have managed this through a combination of rigorous driver education and training as well as strong law enforcement policies that place the burden of responsibility with driver—not cyclists—when it comes to collisions. The Europeans have also done a far better job investing in cycling infrastructure to keep cyclists safe.

What do you mean by improving cycling infrastructure?

Cycling health and safety isn’t just a matter of saying ‘let’s be safe’ and ‘let’s share the road’—but recognizing that more and better infrastructure investment is essential in keeping cyclists safe. By infrastructure, I mean things like shared or designated roadways and paths, traffic calming measures, increased public education, provision of safe storage facilities and other equipment that makes cycling a safe, convenient travel choice.

Research shows, perhaps not surprisingly, that countries and communities with more investment in cycling infrastructure have higher levels of cycling and lower accident and fatality rates among vulnerable road users—cyclists and pedestrians.

Is this more than a cycling issue?

As a matter of public health, there are many recognized benefits to society as a whole for investment in cycling infrastructure. In fact, the benefits of cycling are estimated to outweigh the risks by as much as 20 to one. Cycling has the potential to be an extremely effective health promotion tool, and it’s unfortunate that it’s not yet part of the public health agenda.

When decisions are made to not to invest in the type of infrastructure that promotes healthy active lifestyles, everyone tends to suffer, especially those with lower socio-economic status, who may not have the extra resources to join a gym, for example, or live where walking or cycling can easily be a part of their daily life.

Those countries that are more committed to active lifestyles via infrastructure tend to have lower rates of childhood obesity. I must add that the studies are not necessarily causal, but there are links.

There is also solid evidence that pollution isn’t just something that makes people cough a little bit. Toronto Public Health estimates some 70,000 days lost from pollution in terms of productivity and functionality with a corresponding dollar value. Pollution also accounts for 200,000 “restricted activity days” per year, including 68,000 asthma days.

What about the bike helmet question?

I wear a helmet while riding. But to be perfectly honest, I wonder how much it actually contributes to my safety. There is a perception that if you’re not wearing a helmet, you’re to blame for your accident—that you don’t take your own personal safety very seriously. The fact is that countries that are the safest in the world for cycling have the lowest rates of helmet use. In the Netherlands, less than one per cent of cyclists wear helmets and cycling is not perceived to be a high-risk activity.

I think the helmet debate takes away from what we could be doing—it’s a distraction with an easy legislative solution. It doesn’t solve the problem of safety while cycling. It might almost be better if wearing a helmet was mandated and then work could move forward with the issues that really matter, like improved infrastructure for safe cycling.

Do you have some tips for new cyclists?

  1. Know and follow the rules of the road. Always.
  2. Consider taking a course to learn how to share the road as safely as possible with other vehicles. CAN-BIKE courses are offered through the City of Toronto.
  3. Find a balance between being a careful rider and being confident enough to claim adequate space on the road within lanes of traffic and around parked cars.
  4. Remember that motorists will not necessarily understand what the needs of a cyclist are—so educate yourself. There’s a difference between being assertive and aggressive. Self-preservation should be your primary motivation.
  5. If you’re planning to become a regular cycling commuter, there will inevitably be times when you may need to ride in the dark or in the rain, so invest in some lights and some reflective clothing and also buy yourself some good quality rain gear. I ride my bike almost all year round and what I’ve come to realize is that there’s really no such thing as bad weather; there are only bad clothing choices!

CORRECTION–August 26, 2009: 

Dr. Chris Cavacuiti has informed us that his interview contains a factual error.

In the interview, Dr. Cavacuiti is quoted as saying “The [Toronto Collision] study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents”. Dr. Cavacuiti has asked us to make readers aware that the Toronto Collision study was actually designed to look at the cause of bicycle/motorist collisions but not culpability.

It is actually several studies conducted by the Charles Komanoff and member of the Right of Way organization in New York that concluded that concluded that cyclists were strictly culpable for less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents.

Dr. Cavacuiti would like to apologize for any confusion this error may have caused.

Family cycling. Source: Flickr.com, Photo by MoBikeFed

 

38 Responses to “Smart cycling”

  1. Marianne Khurana says:

    I grew up and cylcled for years in the Netherlands (and subsequently here to work at U of T for years) and am convinced that the type of bicyle has something to do with cycle accidents. Most people ride bikes with low handles, leaning over the handle bars, head down and therefore not able to look around as they should. I still ride a high handle bar bike, sit up straight and am able to look around. I don’t wear a helmet and get scolded for that plenty but my gray hair seems to give me additional protection.

  2. BRC says:

    It diminishes arguments in favour of better cycling conditions to throw in that helmets don’t seem necessary. My goodness. How about seat belts and motorcycle helmets? We’re on the road – wear a helmet. ER doctors I know shake their heads when they get a cyclist head trauma with no helmet. A comparison to Amsterdam in such a case is not fair – Amsterdam has a completely different road culture, and the smaller streets and lower speeds make it inherently safer for cyclists.

    Otherwise – good stats on causes of cycling injuries. A lot of motorists don’t quite clue in that a minor accident could cause a paint scratch for them, and serious injury for the cyclist. It’s good to see the statistics bear out the common sense notion that a cyclist would be more likely to drive defensively with regards to cars, than cars would be to cyclists.

  3. MAB says:

    I obey the rules of the road (all of the time – in fact I’ve had some motorists stop me to thank me for signaling) and shake my head in frustration when I see that most other cyclists do not — they are the ones who give the rest of us a bad name and probably contribute to the idea that cyclists are the cause of most bike-car accidents.

    I have to admit that all of the “close calls” I’ve had over the past year have been due to motorists — I’ve had cars cut me off, esp. turning onto another street, but the one which scares me the most is the “door prize” — I’ve come close to collecting that one so many times I’ve lost count! I really wish that motorists were forced to take a course on how to share the road with cyclists!

  4. Paul Shakespeare says:

    After 40+ years of motorcycling in a number of countries and only occasionally bicycling, I now pedal to work. Many of my riding habits – lane position, head checks, eye contact etc are a result of that urban M/C experience and are equally effective with pedal power. After a few bumps on (off) M/Cs I also am very aware of how much more vulnerable I am on a bicycle, but I’m adjusting.

    On the helmet issue, I partly agree. I shudder to see non-helmeted M/C riders in the USA because I’ve crunched mine into the asphalt. It’s not a lot of fun but so much better than the alternative. The problem I see with bicycle helmets is that even expensive ones are insubstantial – no ear or temple coverage, flimsy construction and poor fit. Fortunately I haven’t had mine tested on the road, but it doesn’t inspire much confidence that it’s better than going without. Proper helmets DO save your head when it hits something unforgiving, but changes to driving habits and infrastructure would reduce incidents – avoidance is much better than minimizing damage.

    If you are interested, check out the Hurt report, aptly named, of 1977 done in California and surveying thousands of motorcycle accidents/collisions. Many of the problems and obvious remedies flowing from that study are perfectly applicable to bicycling as well.

  5. Thank you for this article! It sums up concisely all the main points relevant to cycling safety. I have linked it to our Bicycle Nova Scotia website.

    Friedemann Brauer
    VP Transportation & Advocacy
    Bicycle Nova Scotia

  6. TT says:

    Interesting point by the commenter about the handlebar positioning. I think my mtn bike position puts me in a position to respond more quickly, but now I wonder. I’m going to compare it with my upright ride.

    I won’t wear a helmet until car drivers wear them, too.

    Interesting points, though take small issue re: the rules of the road have to do with scale. I think of cyclists like sailboats are to giant ships. The speed and size should play some factor in some of the rules.

    I’ll wait for autos to proceed ahead of me, go slightly ahead of the green or run the red (the same way I walk against the crosswalk on rare occasion), depending on the surrounding conditions.

    And if there’s not enough room alotted for a cyclist, or it’s too dangerous a road, I wander up to the sidewalk and of course give pedestrians the right of way- again, like a sailboat.

  7. Zora Anaya says:

    I had a bicycle accident a week ago and the driver was at fault. The collision was at an intersection where the motorist did not stop. My collision corroborates the statistics presented by Professor Chris Cavacuiti.

  8. Des says:

    @TT: “I won’t wear a helmet until car drivers wear them, too.”

    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/05/motoring-helmets-for-real-high-risk.html

  9. JSH says:

    BRC: do the doctors shake their head when a car driver comes in with head injuries not wearing a helmet? how about pedestrians? why single out cyclists?

  10. JSH says:

    Paul: why in the world do you think a motorcycle study would apply to bicyclists? unless you wear a motorcycle helmet while biking that is completely irrelevant because of the differences in helmets.

  11. Matt says:

    That was a good and informative interview; however, I do have a disagreement with the first rule:

    “Know and follow the rules of the road. Always.”

    The rules of the road have been made to deal with issues only from the perspective of motor vehicles and in ignorance of the needs of cyclists. There are many situations in which a cyclist is decidedly safer NOT following the standard road rules.

  12. MK says:

    “How about seat belts and motorcycle helmets? We’re on the road – wear a helmet. ER doctors I know shake their heads when they get a cyclist head trauma with no helmet.”

    A few notes here:

    1. A seatbelt is a completely different device, it works in a very limited way (to arrest forward movement) and does so by already keeping you in a constraint position. To compare a seatbelt to a helmet (of any kind) shows that you don’t understand how either works.

    2. To compare a Motorcycle helmet and a bicycle helmet and considering them equal is further proof that you do not understand how they are work. I suggest you put one of each on your head and then tell me which one feels more solid and protective.

    3. If you presume that a bike helmet works then there would be only one of three conclusions that can be drawn:

    3.1 Motorcycle helmets are severely overengineered, we should get rid of them and make everybody wear a bike helmet.

    3.2 When you ride your bicycle the laws of physics change. While you are on a motorcycle Newton rules, once you are on a bicycle though angles will pick you up and make the impact forces you may encounter much much less.

    3.3 Bike helmets cannot fulfill the rule that bike helmets advocates say they do.

    Which of the three would you like to pick?

  13. Wayne Pein says:

    MAB said:

    “I obey the rules of the road (all of the time…I’ve come close to collecting that one [“door prize”] so many times I’ve lost count!”

    You apparently don’t follow the rules of the road for cyclists. That is, you don’t avoid the Door Zone, a basic hallmark of competent cycling.

    If you are riding in the Door Zone due to bike lanes that compel you there, it’s obvious that the planners who create such dangerous infrastructure are incompetent. But you can choose not to ride in such bike lanes; motorists will undoubtedly be friendly toward you when you don’t use “bicycle friendly” infrastructure.

    I highly doubt Dr. Chris Cavacuiti’s collision would have been avoided with cycling infrastructure. It’s likely that on his triathlon bike at high speed he would be in many more collisions. The infrastructure that he is so fond of in Europe is intended for cycling at very slow speeds.

  14. Jess Cox says:

    So many “rules of the road” cannot be applied to cyclists. Waiting at a red light, huffing fumes and waiting for a distracted cell phone using motorist to approach and hit you is not safe. I will run a red light, and I will take a whole lane so no one can try and slip past me barely missing my shoulder with their mirror. It seems unfortunate to me that cyclists gang up on each other and blame each other for the problems that we have. We need to be supportive of each other and lend helpful advise, not be self-righteous.
    On the helmet topic, there is no doubt that a helmet can keep you from getting your skull crushed in and being killed, like my friend Jen who was hit last year, like so many people that have been killed. Like someone here said, the large majority of roads are not at all like those in Amsterdam.

  15. JJM P.E., traffic safety engineer says:

    Is this research published anywhere? I’d like to read the whole report.

    I’m afraid that, since Dr. Cavacuiti is a cyclist, the anti-bike/ped crowd will say he has an agenda.

    Also, if all the data came from Toronto, is it applicable to other cities in North America?

  16. Julien says:

    First, I want to say it feels good to have a “conversation” about bikes that is both intelligent and peaceful.

    The high handle bar observation is interesting. After 10-15 minutes riding in tough urban conditions, I often start to have neck pain. The reason? I never stop my watch on incompetent car drivers, turning neck, head and eyes around in constant search of the inevitable jerk who thinks…wait, he just doesn’t think.

    As of the infamous helmet argument; I will wear a helmet the day everyone will learn how to properly drive in a vibrant urban center populated with bikes, pedestrians, trams, buses, and absurd segways. :)

    I reserve the high props to the link to motorcycles. Study that report, because the plain and dirty truth has been lying right there for more than 30 years.

    Thanks for the fix :)

  17. bentguy says:

    “It might almost be better if wearing a helmet was mandated and then work could move forward with the issues that really matter, like improved infrastructure for safe cycling.”

    It is most decidedly not better. There is a world of research out there to show that mandatory helmet laws reduce cycling participation. Australia was the first country to bring in these laws and can now boast at being the fattest nation in the industrialized world. There is also substantial evidence that helmet wearing can increase the likelihood of risk compensation making helmet clad cyclist more likely to get into an accident in the first place. Most of you have probably heard of the study in Britain that suggests drivers are more likely to take risks when approaching a helmeted cyclist. And as you say, there is a tendency to blame the victim if they are not wearing a helmet. Well there is a helmet law where I live and it is a veritable stick that motorists, insurance companies and courts will beat you with. There are also studies that indicate they contribute to a greater likelihood for rotational head injuries. Anecdotes are not data, even when they come from your doctor.

    We have had a mandatory helmet law here for some time and it has had the opposite effect then what you suggest. Politicians love to check stuff off their lists especially when it cost nothing. Did something for cycling safety… check! Next order of business. When they are in the mood to do something for cycling safety around here they just send out more cops on the bike routes to ticket the non-helmeted riders. They actually say that they hassle cyclist with these tickets to make them safer.

    Wear a helmet of don’t. But mandatory helmet laws will not further the cause of cycling safety. They will only convince more and more people that cycling is a dangerous activity (which it is not) and allow politicians to believe that they have done their job.

  18. Peter James says:

    I wonder how the research rated accidents where cyclists operating in a non-vehicular or unsafe manner placed themselves in places of danger – and were then hit? Anyone who gets a “door prize” – although not legally responsible – should certainly bear a significant degree of responsibility.

    The rules of the road are reasonably well-fitted to all wheeled vehicles. Inevitably there are some rules that might be optimised for a particular class of road-user – but that argument could be made for all road-users – not just for cyclists. The advantage of one set of rules is predictability – all road-users can follow the same rule in a given circumstance.

    But 10% cyclist responsibility seems just as unbelievable as the infamous 85% reduction in injuries claimed for helmet-wearing. And this conclusion might provide yet more more ammunition for the helmet-promoters – “90% of accidents aren’t our fault – there’s nothing much we can do to avoid them – so we gotta wear helmets”…

  19. Mike says:

    Wayne Pein said “The infrastructure that he is so fond of in Europe is intended for cycling at very slow speeds.”

    This is complete rubbish – the idea that Europeans lope around the streets on large-handlebarred bikes (no doubt sipping wine and snorting snuff as they go) is ludicrous. Europeans ride as quickly and efficiently as anyone in N America.

    And as for you Jess Cox: The “helmet saved my life” or “saved my friend’s life” is the most unconvincing argument yet devised. Do some research and find some facts, for Christ’s sake!

  20. Ian says:

    To Paul Shakespeare,
    helmet use between motorcycles and bikes doesn’t correlate. The types of helmets and forces involved are very different. There were two very interesting recent studies done in the the ski industry which keeps uniform reports for every accident involving ski patrol. The end results were that helmets only help in the most minor collisions and crashes. The types of impacts that cause severe injury are unlikely to be affected by a helmet. Additionally whether due to the “superman” factor or not, helmet skiers are much more likely to sustain lethal head injuries. All that said, I still wear a bike helmet bc I’ll take any improvement I can get, but I don’t kid myself that it will save my life or prevent serious injury.

  21. michelle m says:

    Just a quick comment on the author’s statement that “It might almost be better if wearing a helmet was mandated.”

    NO. There is a good bit of research on this, and it is clear that mandatory helmet laws *reduce* the number of cyclists, by about 30%.

    Even worse, these laws increase the risk of injury per cyclist. That is, injuries decline, but not as much as the number of cyclists declined. They aren’t totally sure why, but it’s probably due to the reduction in bicycle traffic. Other studies have shown that increasing the number of bicyclists is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of crashes.

  22. Roberta says:

    This guy’s points are ridiculous. He is deliberately misinterpreting the results of this study. The study itself quite clearly says that the labels of the accidents are not intent to assign blame: “Indeed, it is possible that a cyclist could have been wholly or partially at fault in a ‘Drive Out’ collision (if he or she rode off the sidewalk into a crosswalk and collided with a vehicle that had moved into the crosswalk area after stopping, for example), and vice versa.” So pulling out the ‘Drive Out’ accidents and claiming they are all the fault of cars is a crock. Door accidents too should be assigned at least partial fault of the cyclists, because of poor positioning (sometimes mandated by lousy cycling lanes, it’s true). After all, how many times to you hear about motorists on the road getting doored? Never! Because they aren’t riding 2 feet from the parked cars. This prof needs to get off his high horse and learn to properly interpret reports.

  23. JJM 63 says:

    Traffic safety is not an either-or thing. How many crashes had contributing factors related to both the driver and the cyclist?

  24. How about a link to the actual study?

  25. jcolemans says:

    I think that Dr. Cavacuiti’s article is a lucid and rational description of the current state of average bicycle safety in North America, and I enjoyed reading it.

    Like most of us, I am both a driver and a cyclist, so I have both perspectives and I can’t get on too high a horse with either point of view. I do lean towards the European approach (“…strong law enforcement policies that place the burden of responsibility with driver—not cyclists—when it comes to collisions.”). Responsibility in collisions should roughly be a function of each participant’s size and speed, so motor vehicles should by default bear more responsibility. That is, drivers need to be especially aware of their driving at all times, and not treat it as a casual entitlement. Roads are public spaces, in aggregate a huge public space, meant to be shared by a variety of users, and right of way needs to be respected with the most vulnerable getting the most deference.

    To achieve this, it will take better driver education and public service reminders, along with an increase in cyclist (and pedestrian) numbers. I’m not a fan of legislating solutions to problems that are more issues of common sense, manners and culture.

    I am accordingly not big on helmet laws. The best way to save cyclists’ lives is to reduce collisions. Helmets just mitigate the risk of injury when collisions do happen. The helmet question is kind of a red herring in the cycling safety discussion.

    BTW, I appreciate the use of “collision” instead of “accident”. The latter seems more passive, as with an act of God. In a collision, one or more parties made a mistake and a bad thing happened as a result.

  26. John A. Laidlaw says:

    I’ve ridden for 55 years – since 1954, in Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto (and lots of places between), and in Victoria, BC since 1979.
    I agree with the doctor’s comments – particularly with the one about rigorous training – of both cyclists and motorists.
    I was fortunate, both in having a father who actively taught us safety, and in having the wit to understand that this was vital to my continued health.
    I have noticed that, in general, there seems to be a perception that a bicycle is some sort of “toy” – no matter the legal position – we see it as either a kid’s thing, or as a “recreational vehicle” – that is, an adult toy. As such, then, we tend to feel that there are no rules governing its use.
    I know about the risks of drivers – I prefer “motorist” for this – failing to observe cyclists, and moving into our paths.
    I would only say, of this, that we, also, bear some of the responsibility, in that we fail to “drive” with awareness of danger zones.
    We need, ourselves, to see where we are putting ourselves at risk, by being where a motorist would not be expecting us (as in overtaking on the right, other than someone turning left). We also need to be proactive in ensuring that the motorist behind us DOES see us. This involves the use of lights, even in daytime, and the use of high-visibility clothing. It also involves our putting ourselves where he HAS to see us, an HAS to make a choice, whether to follow (and wait) or overtake properly.
    I do endorse the CANBIKE courses – I took one a few years ago. Although there was little in it that was at all new to me, it was confirmation that I was doing the right things to stay alive on our streets.
    Helmets – I prefer one – it is effective against minor concussions, if replaced regularly. It’s cheap insurance. Besides, having taken to using one, to encourage my daughter to do so (monkey see, monkey do), I found that without it I felt naked, and wrong. As for the legislation – without any real enforcement, it is worse than weak – it is useless, and calls the rest of the law into disrepute, in my opinion. If I don’t have to obey the law, why should anyone else?

  27. Wayne Pein says:

    Dr. Chris Cavacuiti’s interpretation of the Toronto study and the Toronto study itself are totally wrong.

    “The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so.”

    Actually, the most common type of crash is labeled Drive Out at Controlled Intersection. In this type collision, the motorist could have stopped at a traffic signal, looked, then made a right on red into an unlit drunk bicyclist riding wrong way on the sidewalk at night who blasted into the crosswalk. So the bicyclist would have caused the collision.

    In reality, smart analyses of motor vehicle-bicycle collisions consistently show that bicyclists caused well more than half.

  28. Chercher says:

    @PeterJames

    I take issue with your statement: Anyone who gets a “door prize” – although not legally responsible – should certainly bear a significant degree of responsibility.

    Not all door prizes are equal. I am one of the few cyclists who happens to obey the rules of the road and am extremely alert when I cycle. I got doored, not by a parked car, but by a taxi letting out his fare at a red light. I was slowing down so that I could stop and turn right and the door was literally flung in my path. The taxi driver did not signal or pull over to let him out and I did not see the man move to open the door. There was a clear lane one second and the next it was like there was a brick wall there. Luckily I was fine since I was slowing to a stop but it did knock the wind out of me. I’ve gone over it again and again and there is no way I could have prevented it.

    It’s unfair to paint all accidents with the same brush.

  29. Perry Pelletier says:

    I have commuted in Nova Scotia for about 15 years and can attest that both sides can argue their viewpoint as a cyclist, I have heard them all. “Why should we share the road with you?” A cyclist doesn’t pay licencing fees. A cyclist is slowing down traffic, therefore making the road dangerous. The list goes on and on. Bottom Line is the Motor Vehicle Act instructs all traffic on how to use the road. Once we have a culture where cyclists are an accepted part of the road, then and only then will the roads be safer. I have had my share of drivers throw me the finger, cuss at me and I have to take it because whether I am right or wrong, A vehicle will always win against a bike. Keep biking and eventually our culture will have to accept that we are part of the road. After all, the horse and buggy did allow the car on their trails.

    Perry

  30. Daniel Savard says:

    To Perry Pelletier, this is unfortunate such bad argumentation is taking place. I wonder how the licensing fees are actually paying for the roads. In fact, the licensing fees are having nothing to do with roads maintenance and costs.

    And it is a fact that motor vehicle will always win against a bike. Exactly like a gun will always win against a bare hands guy. Provided that, I suggest that no matter whose at fault, all car driver should have to pay a substantial penality in case of accident with a bike. Unfortunately, this is the only way to have car drivers and truck drivers to care about bikes. If you want to change mentalities on the roads go deep in the pocket of the most dangerous guy. I believe this is the case in Amsterdam where a 1500 euros penality applies to a car driver hitting a bike, no matter who’s at fault. So, the car driver is better to take extra car to not hit a bike.

  31. Perry Pelletier says:

    Daniel
    You missed my point. It was a car driver who stated that cyclists should pay fees. This is the mentality of some drivers. Your point about paying a hefty fine is valid but like I said, the culture will have to change first. The culture in parts of Europe is bicycle friendly. We in N.America are dealing with a huge increase in vehicle traffic and closures of roads that were once accessible by bike. I would love to see the respect that cyclists get in Europe, but we still have a way to go.

  32. […] Smart cycling – Professor Chris Cavacutti on how to stay safe on the roads: http://www.research.utoronto.ca/behind_the_headlines/smart-cycling/ VIDEO: Motorists vs. Cyclists […]

  33. […] encour­ag­ing safer cycling are not mutu­ally exclu­sive goals. Chris Cavacuiti’s study on the causes of automobile-bicycle col­li­sions in Toronto is oft-quoted by cycling advo­cates to shoot down the “reck­less cyclist” stereo­type. But […]

  34. CycleLawyer says:

    If you suffer injury in a cycle accident and want to make a claim – failing to wear a helmet will cost you dearly. Insurers will seek to deduct up to 25% of damages in relation to any head injury element of a claim.

    Most serious cycle accidents that we deal with do actually involve head injuries of one form or another.

    When you hit the deck and have no headgear to protect you then seriously, you are asking for trouble.

    Forget the studies, look at it from a personal preservation perspective

  35. […] have far more to do with aggressive driving than aggressive cycling. Your apology is accepted. Smart cycling | U of T Research & Innovation Move to Toronto then. You'll have safer cycling and we'll have one less twat. Everybody […]

  36. […] accidents are a result of “errant” cyclists, when in fact the reality is, cyclists have beenshown to cause less than 10% of bike-car accidents. The Task Force has failed to engage with motorists / […]

  37. […] from the University of Toronto reported that the three most common accidents in Toronto involving cyclists and motor vehicles, […]

  38. Dan says:

    I was riding my beach crusier in the steets of Venice, i stopped and looked, then took my turn making a right hand turn
    Some guy pull a California stop and ran me over. He was looking left, i was on his right then he ruin my classic crusier and to this day where he hit my leg, it still hurts. I don’t know if there is a safe place out there.

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