Safety in Numbers Leads to Less Bike Accidents in Philly

Despite more bicyclists on its streets, Philadelphia has seen a marked reduction in bike crashes and deaths. With double the amount of cyclists on downtown streets since 2002, the decline is being attributed to more visibility to motorists.

Paul Nussbaum reports on Philadelphia's dramatic decline in accidents involving bicycles, from a high of 1,040 in 1998 to 553 in 2010, which officials and advocates attribute to the "safety in numbers" phenomenon.

"'Where cars expect to find bicyclists and pedestrians, drivers are more cognizant of cyclists and pedestrians,' said Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. He cited a study in Portland, Ore., that found a doubling of the number of bicycles reduced the crash risk by one-third."

"I know I get better treatment now than I did 10 years ago, or even five years ago," Doty said. "Drivers have a better idea what to do. Though there is still quite a bit of room for improvement."

"If more biking means safer biking, safer biking is likely to produce more biking," says Nussbaum.

 

Full Story: More bicyclists means fewer accidents, Phila. finds

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