High Speeds Are the Green Eggs and Ham of Cycling Fatalities

Before I write my own post, here’s a brilliant insight into motoring psychology. Too often the notion is that motorists are monsters or somehow insane. I do not think that this is a useful way to more forward. Rather, I think that motorists are normal humans who are doing the best they can in a really badly built environment. A bad place makes for a bad set of choices and it either expects people to be Buddha or to be human. People, like me, usually choose to be human.

Here’s a quote: “Implicit in the expectation of efficient travel is an expectation amongst many that automobiles are the only vehicles with the right of way on the streets, leaving little room for any other modes of transportation. The resulting tensions between bicyclists and drivers are problems of environmental design and culture, not one of bad decision-making either by bicyclists and/or drivers.”

Nothing new here–when is there ever 🙂 –but I thought about this when riding to work this morning. High speeds are like green eggs and ham to cycling deaths.

The other part of the analogy is every other thing that is blamed for killing cyclists.

“So what killed the cyclist?

Was it her earphones? Her dark colored clothes? Her lack of proper cycling education?

No, it was a high speed car.

Did she die with a helmet, without a helmet, on the sidewalk, on the road?

No, it was a high speed car.

Was it the cyclist’s fault, motorist’s fault, road designers fault, by standers fault?

No, it was a high speed car.

Was the cyclist taking the lane, hit by a door, going the right way or the wrong way?

No, it was a high speed car.”

That’s right, it doesn’t matter what the cyclist is doing, where she is, how smart or stupid she is nor the weather nor the time of day.

The single biggest variable in cyclists deaths is high speed cars.

That’s it.

It’s so simple that I feel stupid for saying it.

But look at the “safety literature” and there’s tons of nonsensical variables that are very carefully analyzed.

I feel like a fool for many of my prior posts with my “data analysis” because it’s all a waste of time.

But I guess I had to go through this to get to where I am today.


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