# Worst January for cycling deaths since 2008

#### Rooster1

I need to get my head around what is happening.

- Have we got more winter cycle commuters, journeys than previous years ?
- Is the adverse weather playing a part - visibility etc ?
- Are new cyclists being killed and injured more than more experienced riders ?
- Have the road conditions deteriorated since last year (I think the roads around where I am are shocking) ?

Very sobering.

#### numbnuts

##### Legendary Member
Twelve riders I only thought it was 7

#### Saluki

##### World class procrastinator
Twelve riders I only thought it was 7
Reading the comments, there is another death so 13 in 15 days. Shocking.

#### Katherine

##### Guru
Moderator
It is very sad. Every accident, whether an awful fatality or not, is one too many.
There are so many near misses that aren't reported.
Let's hope there are no more.

#### srw

##### It's a bit more complicated than that...
Using a simple Poisson model with the assumption of no change in cycling levels, 13 deaths in January is a 1-in10 event.

If we're more realistic and assume a 10% per annum increase in cycling and look at 13 deaths in half of January, it's a 1-in-20 event - not that unusual.

(For the geeks, I reckon it's a Poisson with a mean of 8.5 per half month, and I'm assuming a constant mortality rate in each January.)

#### briantrumpet

##### Guru
Using a simple Poisson model with the assumption of no change in cycling levels, 13 deaths in January is a 1-in10 event.

If we're more realistic and assume a 10% per annum increase in cycling and look at 13 deaths in half of January, it's a 1-in-20 event - not that unusual.

(For the geeks, I reckon it's a Poisson with a mean of 8.5 per half month, and I'm assuming a constant mortality rate in each January.)
I've no idea really what you're talking about, other than "that's what happens in stats", I'm guessing ... you expect wobbles, but (as with London last November) they even out in the end. Cycling is statistically still safe, even though times like this make one feel more vulnerable.

Having said that, since December I have wondered if there's been a large amount of nobber juice being drunk - the number of close and impatient drivers trying to squeeze past on my normal commute appears to have increased markedly .... though I'll accept that that might just be me being a bit more sensitive, having had two cars wiped out right next to me, as one squeezed past me where he shouldn't have.

#### srw

##### It's a bit more complicated than that...
I've no idea really what you're talking about, other than "that's what happens in stats", I'm guessing

You're right, it wasn't the clearest of posts - in my defence I knocked up a spreadsheet in my lunch-break and was posting from a phone.

I was responding to the suggestion that January 2015 is an unusually bad month, and the invitation on road.cc to use the published statistics to do some maths.

My conclusion is that it probably isn't an unusually bad month, once you adjust the raw data to allow for the fact that the number of cyclists has been growing since the start of the data. I suspect that the growth is roughly 10% a year - if you make this adjustment and apply a simple (but probably appropriate) mathematical model you discover that you'd expect a month this "bad" about one in 20 times. Since there are 20 months rather less than every 2 years, that's not a particularly bad month.

I've got the spreadsheet in the office, so if you think I'm being optimistic in using 10% a year cycling growth I can give you some other numbers next week.

#### briantrumpet

##### Guru
You're right, it wasn't the clearest of posts - in my defence I knocked up a spreadsheet in my lunch-break and was posting from a phone.
Haha, I wasn't knocking your knowledge, just acknowledging my ignorance of statistics! Whatever you said, it sounded impressive. Keep it up!

#### fossyant

##### Ride It Like You Stole It!
It's shocking. The weather hasn't been bad at all. One death was just half a mile from my September knock off. A colleague started to discuss it the other day and I tried to shush her as the lady I sit next to, her husband came down with me, and he was much worse off. She's not so keen about cycling now.

#### Fab Foodie

##### hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Using a simple Poisson model with the assumption of no change in cycling levels, 13 deaths in January is a 1-in10 event.
I don't know much about statistics but it seems there's something almost fishy in your method ....

#### steveindenmark

##### Legendary Member
Its difficult to know what has causes the upturn without knowing all the facts in detail. The weather has not been bad so I cant see how that comes into it. I see London and lorries feature prominantly, as usual.

I read something interesting about Hollands cycling turn round. It said they decided that the only way they could get improvements for cyclists, was to get more cyclists on the roads. It sounds a bit like lambs to the slaughter, but it worked.

#### srw

##### It's a bit more complicated than that...
Is that a factor?
It's a factor in there being more cyclists on the road. The single biggest influence on any kind of incident on the roads is the volume of participants, so it's not surprising that in a generally good January for weather there have been more cyclist deaths than usual (but, as I've pointed out, not hugely more), because there have been more cyclists out and about than in a usual January.

#### Crankarm

##### Guru
Its difficult to know what has causes the upturn without knowing all the facts in detail. The weather has not been bad so I cant see how that comes into it. I see London and lorries feature prominantly, as usual.

I read something interesting about Hollands cycling turn round. It said they decided that the only way they could get improvements for cyclists, was to get more cyclists on the roads. It sounds a bit like lambs to the slaughter, but it worked.

Yeah but to simply state that without any qualification how the Dutch went about it and suggest it can be done in the UK is either naive or stupid.

Holland has the best cycling infrastructure in the world bar none and a legal system that when collisions occur between vehicles and cyclists the presumption of liability lies with the vehicle driver so the burden is on them to prove they were not negligent as opposed to the UK where a claimant has to establish that the driver was negligent which is a massive difference and much harder to achieve with little or no evidence, no criminal conviction for a driving offence or where a driver is just lying through their teeth. But the Dutch bit the bullet and invested heavily in providing a first class cycle network that is now the envy of cyclists across the rest of the world.