Door Zone (and Other NYC Safety Data)

If you google for “door zone United States fatality statistics”, there is little data which is itemized for this hazard.

Mostly,  you see things like this:

The Door Prize: Cyclists killed by dooring:

http://bicyclesafe.com/doorprize.html

You will notice that this has very few deaths, and many of them are dated.

Despite the paucity of deaths and the venerableness of the data, this is given as evidence that one should avoid the door zone.

I searched and searched for more data. Here’s one piece:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&ved=0CHMQFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnyc.gov%2Fhtml%2Fdot%2Fdownloads%2Fpdf%2Fbicyclefatalities.pdf&ei=74H6Ts7UN8b0sQKv5oC_AQ&usg=AFQjCNFFbYnqh05Qz1-6w5xTeryiiMxAMQ&sig2=Hnyp5OCBrjwOnUu33RaEBw

Here are some juicy bits:

“Between 1996 and 2003, a total of 3,462 NYC bicyclists were seriously injured in crashes with motor vehicles.”

“Between 1996 and 2005, 225 bicyclists died in crashes. Bicyclist deaths remained steady during the 10-year period.”

Keep your eye on the latter number because there’s much more.

“Nearly all bicyclist fatalities (92%) occurred as a result of crashes with motor vehicles.”

“Only one fatal crash with a motor vehicle occurred when a bicyclist was in a marked bicycle lane.”

Thus, 99.6% of all bicycle accidents occured OUTSIDE of a bike lane.

“A total of 7 fatal crashes occurred as a result of a bicyclist hitting a motor vehicle door or trying to avoid one. Four occurred in Manhattan and 3 in Brooklyn.”

Thus, 96.8% of the people who died in NYC were NOT in the door zone.

I submit that a 3% chance of death is absurdly small, and there is no shame, and little danger in riding in the door zone.

I’ll do more data analysis another day.

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