Are the safety stats misleading ?

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

  1. jarlrmai

    jarlrmai Veteran

    There's anecdote on these forums about a guy who bashed his head on a pedal while fixing his bike in the shed, the nurse asked if he was wearing a helmet, so that might have been recorded as a cycling accident.
    classic33 likes this.
  2. Not just on this forum, but in this very thread!

  3. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    Apart from the one you're replying to...

    Sorry to be a pedant, but that doesn't show serious injuries rising. It shows serious injuries as pretty static from 2006 - 2010 and again pretty static from 2011 - 2015.

    There are any number of things that could cause this, but top of my list would be a one-off change in methodology of collecting or collating the stats in 2011.

    Two other things to bear in mind. First, "serious injuries" in the technical sense aren't actually necessarily "serious" in the colloquial sense. When Mrs W was knocked off her bike and admitted to hospital because she'd been kept waiting in A&E for 4 hours - the hospital didn't want to bugger up their A&E targets - that counted as a "serious injury" even though she walked out of hospital the same day and was pain-free within a couple of weeks. Second, the denominator of the rate - the distance cycled - is incredibly difficult to measure, and the ONS have said that it's possibly unreliable - under-reporting quite a lot.

    Oh, and of course 650 per billion kilometres is tiny. Absolutely minute. It's one per 1.5 million kilometres. Steve Abraham is trying to ride 120,000 km in one year, at a pace of something over 300km per day. If he did that every year it would still take him 12.5 years to ride 1.5 million km.
    vickster likes this.
  4. OP

    kingrollo Über Member

    Yes I think life changing injuries would be a better measure.
  5. byegad

    byegad Guru

    NE England
    It was I and yes they recorded it as a cycling accident. Much to my annoyance!
    CrinklyLion, jarlrmai and classic33 like this.
  6. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    I'd be annoyed too... but the mileage from the anecdote... priceless :smile:

    [edited for grammar]
    Last edited: 6 Feb 2018
    CrinklyLion likes this.
  7. byegad

    byegad Guru

    NE England
    I never hold a grudge too long, twenty years after I'm safely dead will be enough!
    classic33 likes this.
  8. Regulator

    Regulator Scourge of stale, pale, male snowflakes.

    From the statistical definitions bit:

    The reality is, if someone is taken to hospital the police will class it is as serious injury. If they are treated at the roadside or no medical treatment is required, they'll class it is a slight injury.

    Mrs W's experience is not uncommon...
    mjr and k_green like this.
  9. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    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.
  10. Similarly, copied from elsewhere....
    (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