Sunday, November 30, 2014

Drinking & biking: a bad idea

From Forbes:

The number of bicyclists killed in crashes on U.S. road is on the rise, particularly among adult males and urban riders, groups that now represent most of the deaths, a new report shows.

Failure to wear helmets, alcohol impairment and an increase in urban commuting were among the factors sited as reasons for the recent spike in deaths.

Fatalities among bicyclists in motor vehicle crashes increased 16 percent from 2010 to 2012, while overall motor vehicle fatalities increased just one percent during the same time period, according to Spotlight on Highway Safety: Bicyclist Safety, released late last month by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit organization representing state highway safety offices.

The report analyzed how fatality trends and crash patterns have changed since the mid 1970′s.

Some highlights from the report about bicyclists killed in 2012:

-More than 1 in 4 adult were legally drunk

-More than two-thirds were not wearing helmets

- Nearly three-quarters were adult males


Anonymous said...

Is anyone surprised that this is a reason for an increase in cyclist deaths?

Anonymous said...

The problem is that biking is considered an alternative to driving for those who set out to get plastered. It's still a moving vehicle, though and your skills aren't as sharp after a few drinks.

Anonymous said...

“What’s notable here,” Allan Williams, the report’s author and the former chief scientist of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said in a statement, “is that the percentage of fatally injured bicyclists with high BACs has remained relatively constant since the early 1980s and did not mirror the sharp drop in alcohol-impaired driving that occurred among passenger vehicle drivers in the 1980s and early 1990s.”

In 2012, 28 percent of riders age 16 and older had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) above the legal limit (.08 percent or higher), compared with 33 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers.

Anon are you sure that people see biking that way? After a sharp drop in alcohol related MV fatalities but not biking fatalities you still have alcohol in a higher share of drivers who died than cyclists.

Might vary from one place to another though. If it's a big problem in NYC one thing that might help is to install bike racks on some buses that don't run near parallel subways, even if you don't allow them to be used during peak hours.

Anonymous said...

A lot of those messengers are on drugs.