Are the safety stats misleading ?

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by kingrollo, 29 Dec 2017.

  1. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Continuing from elsewhere as instructed by a mod:
    Clearly, there's some sort of implied assumption that people won't put themselves in danger with their speed, but for a reasonably prudent traveller, it might well be safer to take the route where you can travel faster if that means being exposed to dangerous motorists (who outnumber even you driving, no matter how safe your own driving) for less time... but there's probably also some threshold speed for each mode of transport, above which safety decreases faster than the time you'd save.

    However, I think most cyclists are travelling almost as fast as they feel is safe already, so speeding them up much without route improvements would cross that threshold and decrease safety - but it still feels like it's relevant for comparing a reasonably prudent cyclist with a reasonably prudent motorist to compare a 20 minute cycle with a 20 minute drive, or to compare "per trip stage" figures.

    Of all the comparisons we could make, per mile may be the second worst (after absolute numbers) for cycling and walking. In urban areas, the distance travelled may be similar, but per mile statistics are probably skewed by a fairly small number of extremely long distance journeys.
  2. CrinklyLion

    CrinklyLion Guest

    Similarly, copied from elsewhere....
    [QUOTE 5252288, member: 45"]If you're cycling for an hour on the roads you're exposed to the risk from cars for twice the amount of time as if you were cycling for 30 minutes, all other things being equal. How safely you were cycling only has an effect if it was different in the two scenarios. We're not talking about the same distance in both.[/QUOTE]
    (my bold)
    @Profpointy - is someone driving on the motorway for an hour at an average 70mph as dangerous/in as much danger as someone driving for 30 minutes at an average 140mph, for each of those minutes? They've covered the same distance, but not in the same way.

    If someone were to set off from my house to drive to my mam's they'd be there in about 20 minutes. If I set off to cycle the same route (note, I've only ever attempted said route once on a bike and I gave up and headed for the lanes about 3/4s of the way there because enough people had finished their Christmas lunch for the traffic conditions to be getting pretty unfriendly by that point) it would take me, I'd estimate, about an hour and a half*. I have friends who could easily do the same journey on their bikes in half the time. Would they be exposed to the same risk as me over that distance?

    I guess neither metric is perfect. But someone setting off to do 70 miles in a car would probably expect the journey to take somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half, depending on the nature of the route and how strictly they observe speed limits, whereas most people (leaving out the well'ard audax types that can keep up imperial evens all day) setting off to a 70 mile bike ride would be looking on it as a nice day ride. Or a Mission Impossible, currently, for those such as me who have lost all their fitness and gained too much lard :smile: In that time they would, just to think of the most obvious difference, be likely to have far more interactions with other road users.

    *although in my fitter days I did once do the slightly longer, much nicer, route in about an hour and 15 minutes - ah, happy halcyon days
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice