A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board says the most common cause of bicycling fatalities is drivers passing people on bicycles.
Or rather, failing to.
That’s followed by “problems with parallel bike and vehicle lanes” — presumably meaning painted bike lanes — bicyclists failing to yield and bicyclists making a left turn.
Bearing in mind that those stats are based on police reports that can suffer from a severe case of windshield bias when it comes to assigning blame.
And the NTSB’s recommended solutions?
Protected bike lanes. Blindspot cams for SUVs. And mandatory bike helmet laws in every state.
Never mind that bike helmet laws have been shown to reduce bicycling rates at exactly the time we need to increase riding to fight climate change.
Or that requiring everyone to wear a helmet every time someone rides a bicycle is like addressing gun violence by requiring everyone to wear a bulletproof vest whenever they leave home.
Except bulletproof vests are a hell of a lot more effective than bike helmets, which are designed to protect against a fall off your bike — not an impact with a speeding SUV driver.
And as we’ve pointed out before, they do nothing to protect against injuries to any other part of the body.
38% of bicyclist fatalities are not related to head injuries and 68% of bicyclist emergency department visits are not related to head injuries – helmets are good, but not a cure all – and are not the way to reach #VisionZero pic.twitter.com/Q95dz7StDH
— Ken McLeod (@Kenmcld) November 5, 2019
As we’ve said before, a bike helmet should always be considered a last line of defense when everything else fails.
Like better infrastructure, lower speed and safer motor vehicles.
Yet the board still approved the last-minute addition to their agenda, even though staff members had specifically recommended against it.
Mike Cane used screen grabs to capture much of the discussion leading up to the vote.
It should be stressed, however, that at this point, it’s just a recommendation for each of the 50 states. Although the NTSB’s recommendations have a habit of getting turned into laws.
Meanwhile, Washington lawmakers from both parties are finally talking about ways to reduce bicycling and pedestrian deaths.
Of course, talking is what they’re good at.
We’ll see if they can actually get anything passed in today’s highly divided Congress.
Once again, a bike-riding visitor to this country will be going home in a coffin.
A 27-year old Korean man was killed in South Carolina on Monday when he was struck by a delivery truck driver.
He was riding down the East Coast before turning west, planning to arrive in Los Angeles in early January.
Now he’ll never get here. Or anywhere else.
Seriously, there’s something very wrong when someone can’t visit this country without risking their life.
Active SGV reminds us that South Pasadena will consider bicycle parking at tonight’s City Council meeting.
And Megan Lynch reminds South Pasadena to consider the needs of disabled bicyclists.
City design has so many impacts. Long-time #SouthPasadena resident and now UC Davis grad student @may_gun lays out the implications of good bike parking for climate, health, and disabled-access for the City Council. 💚🚲🌎 #ActLocal #ThinkGlobal #ActOnClimate pic.twitter.com/RAZv3TbTm5
— ActiveSGV (@ActiveSGV) November 6, 2019
He gets it.
Bay Area State Senator Scott Weiner says fighting climate change means making it easier for people to cut back on driving.
1/No climate plan is credible w/o a meaningful plan to reduce driving.
Electric vehicles aren’t enough.
We must invest in transit & reform land use to allow more housing near transit & jobs.
Bottom line: We gotta make it easier for people to drive less. https://t.co/pPFD03E2U2
— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) November 4, 2019
3/To be clear, this transition to a society where people drive less can’t just be about *demanding* that people drive less. We have to make it *possible* for people to do so. That means massive investment in transit, accompanied by significant density increases by jobs & transit.
— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) November 4, 2019
America’s oldest surviving veteran of the excruciating WWII Battle of Iwo Jima was one of us, still riding his three-wheeled bike two weeks before his death at 103.
The crowdfunding page for dirt bike legend Micky Dymond has raised just under $24,000 of the $100,000 goal for his medical care, after suffered critical injuries going over the handlebars of his time trial bicycle.
There are a lot worse things you could do with your money.
Thanks to Steve S for the reminder.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.
As one OC bike rider learned the hard way yesterday.
Almost got smushed this morning on my bicycle. After I passed the lady at the light and told her to go ahead and hit me with her car(I was pissed!), She getsout and starts running after me to literally fight me. The level of privilege/entitlement of #OC drivers is off the charts. pic.twitter.com/VGaP8egUfb
— Caro Rodriguez (@caritoenbici) November 5, 2019
But sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.
San Diego police are looking for a man who beat another man senseless with a bicycle, or part of it, in a 7-11 parking lot.
This is who we share the roads with. After a pedestrian was killed by a street racing, hit-and-run driver while crossing an LA street, dozens of people continued to drive past his body lying in the street without stopping to help.
Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the problem isn’t the new ride hailing management system at LAX, it’s the cars. And it won’t get better until the airport finally embraces mass transit. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.
Metro approves funding for Rock the Boulevard, a $16.2 million Complete Streets makeover of Eagle Rock Blvd. Even if it will be awhile before we see any changes to the street.
Lime is launching a new hyperlocal ad campaign focusing exclusively on the LA market.
Hollywood Burbank Airport will try to cut its emissions, in part by encouraging employees to bike, carpool or use transit.
Culver City restaurant Hatchet Hall will honor noted LA chef and fallen bicyclist Joe Miller with a special dinner tomorrow night, with proceeds going to No Kid Hungry; the Michelin Star-winning chef died of a heart attack while riding in New York recently.
Santa Monica Next says a record jump in available parking spaces in Downtown Santa Monica presents a rare opportunity to reclaim the city’s streets.
Instead of encouraging bicycle riders to use bike lights, or providing free lights to riders who don’t have any as other cities have done, San Luis Obispo police will be cracking down on lightless bicyclists with a pop-up checkpoint today, subjecting bike riders to a fine up to $200.
About damn time. San Francisco responds to another traffic death by declaring a state of emergency for pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. Now maybe Los Angeles can take the hint and actually do something about the deaths down here.
Heartbreaking news from Petaluma, where an bike rider who was killed two weeks ago in a crash with a semi driver was identified as an 89-year old man riding an adult tricycle. Anyone who can still ride at that age, on two wheels or three, deserves better.
More bad news comes from nearby Santa Rosa, where a bike rider was killed when he inexplicably crashed into the trailer of a flatbed truck he was riding next to yesterday, in a crash that doesn’t make any sense at all the way its described.
Depending on how they decide, and how broadly the justices rule, a case currently before the Supreme Court could make hit-and-runs easier to prosecute by ruling that police can assume the owner of a car is the person driving it.
A driving website makes a surprising case for getting rid of your car altogether. Trust me, I’m working on it.
A 70-year old woman is on a six-year quest to ride around and across the United States in the shape of a peace sign; so far, she’s logged over 40,000 miles through the US and Canada.
Outside says mountain bikes make great “self-sufficient adventuremobiles” for bikepacking trips.
Indoor cycling company Bkool has pulled the plug on their turbo trainers and exercise bikes, and will be focusing on the software side of their business.
Evidently, bicycling must be kosher, as the Jewish Journal picks up a story from Wired concluding that the vehicle of the future is a bicycle.
Speaking of the NTSB, the board concluded that the new software for Uber’s self-driving cars would have spotted a bike-riding Tempe AZ woman in time to avoid the crash that killed her.
Congratulations to Virginia’s Juli Briskman; the woman who gained fame by flipping off Trump’s motorcade while riding her bike just got elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, where she’ll oversee the president’s golf course.
A Florida state trooper is asked if drivers are allowed to use a bike lane to pass a stopped car. Short answer, no. Longer answer, hell no.
Your next Segway could be half mountain bike, half dirt bike, and all electric. Although it would be considered a motorcycle under California law, and require a motorcycle helmet and license.
Bike Radar offers advice on how to determine what kind of bike you need, based on how you plan to ride.
The Guardian’s Laura Laker rides a ped-assist ebike from one end of the UK to the other; she joined 800 other bicyclists on the ride, but was one of just two on ebikes.
More heartbreak, as a British man decides to end his life by turning off his ventilator, six years after he was paralyzed in a mountain biking crash.
One hundred Dublin bike riders held a die-in outside city hall to protest the dangers of riding in a city without adequate bicycling infrastructure, following the death of a local man riding his bike.
German students are learning about the Berlin Wall by riding their bikes alongside it, 40 years after it fell.
Ebikes are surging in popularity Down Under, even as a lack of safe bicycling infrastructure puts lives at risk. Just flip the globe over, and you could be talking about Los Angeles.
Bicycling looks at the five most badass American women crushing cycling right now.
Former Olympic champ Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow cyclist Alexandr Kolobnev have officially been cleared of fixing the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race, after prosecutors said they gave them the benefit of the doubt.
New Zealand cyclist George Bennett will be riding next year with three fewer ribs.
Even world champs get their bikes stolen; teenage state champs, too. When you’re a registered offender riding your BMX with several outstanding warrants, maybe you should try leaving the meth and guns at home.
And nothing like posting your own anti-bike self-own.