Why is Cycling More Dangerous in the States?

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reveals why Americans don't use the healthiest, cleanest form of transportation. Hint: it has to do with the frequent injuries we're trying to avoid.
December 29, 2013, 9am PST | Alek Miller
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The OECD finds that bicyclists in the U.S. incur a higher rate of fatalities and injuries in the U.S. compared to counterparts that are working to promote bicycling. Some of the other reasons that keep Americans from biking will shock you, as Matt Phillips writes: 

  • Just 54% of bicyclist fatalities were considered by investigating officers to have a contributory factor on the part of motorists involved
  • "The majority of fatal bike crashes occur in dry or clear conditions (94% in the US and 87% in the UK)"
  • And, possibly saddest of all: “Data from the United States indicate that cyclists were imputed with an improper action in 68% of fatal bicycle crashes (though, as noted earlier, this may be biased as the cyclist was not able to give their version of events)."
Phillips and the OECD offer even more factoids, but there is no single answer to the problem of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities in cities. Hopefully, this report will spur more conversation about the best way to prevent unnecessary deaths between destinations. 

 

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Published on Monday, December 23, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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