Sunday, November 1, 2009

Do More Bicyclists Lead To More Injuries?

Not necessarily so, if research from a well-established body is true. Bicycle-riding patterns in the United States and Europe were studied and what was found was when the number of cyclists on the road increases, the likelihood of accidents declines. This surprising result is known among its researchers as the “safety in numbers” effect, and has been repeatedly documented. (This is true. When I ride in a huge group on Saturdays, we do get more respect from drivers.)

This particular post's topic was what the New York Times discussed just a few days ago on 291009.

Why is this so, you may wonder? How can more cyclists mean fewer road accidents? The author of a Californian study thinks that adaptation in motorist behavior seems to be the reason rather than people cycling obeying traffic laws. In other words, when more cyclists ride on the roads, car drivers become used to them and respond appropriately.

There is a catch of course, In the early stages of increasing bike ridership, more accidents may occur, since drivers will not yet be used to the influx of bicycles (and many of the cyclists will not be used to cycling in heavy traffic).

Well this is what I've noticed here in Singapore. While I do not have hard facts to back me me up, a personal observation of mine is that in the last few years, there seems to be an increasing number of cyclists on our roads. I'm not sure about the rate of accidents but if it's true than of course less injuries from accidents are great, but I do see more cyclists getting sports injuries..... that will probably be another post.

Like many other increasing number of cyclists here in Singapore, I too ride to work at Sports Solutions daily, both for health reasons and also to do my part to go green. (Actually, it is also because I get really impatient waiting for the bus). So all you drivers out there, do look out for us cyclists on the roads.

Here's the link to the New York Times article.

*Picture by Getty Images

No comments:

Post a Comment