Is road cycling dangerous?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by sammyjay, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Make that 773, 819 or whatever the number is for 2017.

    Read the thread I put up in this sub-forum about my coach dying from simply grabbing too much brake.

    'Safe' is a relative term that can not always be defined by numbers. They don't tell the whole story. Get on Zwift and read the stories posted about riders that were injured so badly they will never ride outside in the real world again.
     


  2. cyclintom

    cyclintom Active Member

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    Bob, are you suggesting that riding a bike is more dangerous than driving a car or riding a motorcycle? Or even being a truck driver?
     
  3. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how you define dangerous.
    And don’t forget that only because something is true doesn’t guarantee that it’s important.
    Regardless how many miles you ride, your most likely cause of death - by orders of magnitude - is some sort of heart failure.
    But there’s only so much you can do to avoid that.
    Riding OTOH is fairly easy to give up.

    Then there’s question of what you measure against.
    Deaths by miles?
    Deaths by hours?
    Deaths by rides/drives?
    Bikes are fairly slow compared to motorized traffic, so is likely to have more deaths-per-mile than, say truckers.
     
  4. cyclintom

    cyclintom Active Member

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    That certainly did not sound right to me so I went to the CDC for statistics. Your chance of dying from heart disease which includes a heart attack is only 26% over your lifetime. You actually have almost the same chance of dying from cancer.

    Now you're correct that you have 4 1/2 more chance of dying of heart disease than ALL accidents combined, a fatal bicycle accident is so small as to be invisible. Of course when you're riding in stupid driver traffic it doesn't feel that way.
     
  5. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    For those that have not heard, Brian Toone, STRAVA athlete extrordinaire, state road racing champion and 4th place finisher in this year's RAAM and first American to finish...he was hit by a car back in November while out training and was severely injured. He is now back on the bike, but nothing like what he was prior to the car hitting him.

    https://www.facebook.com/RAAMraces/posts/10159834335165093
     
    #1165 CAMPYBOB, Jan 18, 2018 at 11:58 AM
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018 at 12:04 PM
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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  7. cyclintom

    cyclintom Active Member

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    I can't remember if I gave you guys the statistics of bicycle deaths so let me repeat it:

    Virtually all bicycle fatalities involve automobiles. But this is only about 2 bicycle deaths per day vs. 15 per day of pedestrians and 102 or so drivers.

    On the other hand some 45,000 bicyclists are injured each year almost all in single vehicle accidents - be more careful dummies.

    Pedestrian deaths have grown at approximately twice the rate of bicyclists deaths. This is no doubt because bicycles are faster - this makes the closing speed from vehicles approaching from behind slower and giving the drunk drivers more time to correct. From in front cyclists tend to be a whole lot warier of autos than other autos are and ride more carefully around cross traffic etc.

    Though not a lot of people realize it the use of bicycles as regular transportation is increasing at a rapid rate because of the vastly over-priced autos these days. In urban areas with public transportation riding the transportation to points closest to work and pedaling the remaining way if becoming a lot more common. I can actually ride my bicycle from San Leandro to Palo Alto faster during commute hours than to drive it. And this is 25 miles by bike and 30 by car.

    Does bicycling with the increasing traffic FEEL safer? No, quite to the contrary. But nevertheless it is safer.
     
  8. dhk2

    dhk2 Well-Known Member

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    cycling tom, your statistics on the general population don't give me any comfort, because so few of the US population of adults ride bikes. Using actual active riders and commuters as the denominator, the odds of getting hit by a car are much higher. I personally knew two local riders killed by negligent drivers. Also know a couple of others who've been hit by cars but got away with minor injuries. And one who suffered a permanent disability after being hit.

    Bob mentioned Brian Toone from my state. Riders like him are especially vulnerable because of the volume of exposure to traffic year after year. Believe he holds some kind of Strava record for most vertical feet climbed in a year and raced in the RAAM last year. For people like Brian, getting hit by a car isn't that unusual. A lot of racers, pro or otherwise, get hit by cars in training.

    Suggest you look at the rate of cycling fatalities by miles or hours of exposure. I bet you'll find the lifetime risk, say over 50K or 100K miles, is not trivial at all.
     
  9. dhk2

    dhk2 Well-Known Member

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    Actually just remembered two more riders I know who were hit by cars, both had "minor" injuries. And as far as single-bike accidents, they are a real risk as well. You might think you're the most careful and skillful rider out there, but as they say, shit happens. I know a few guys, skilled riders who've crashed by over-cooking turns on descents on club rides or Century events. Seems dumb, but as you know pro's do the same thing. And animals....how about being taken out by a dog, or deer, or woodchuck? I can tell you about experienced riders who've been victims of these critters.

    Not saying that we shouldn't be riding, but I think we need to be realistic as well. I've put in a fair amount of miles on both motorcycles and bikes, and have never really been hurt in a crash. But I know it could happen on next Saturdays ride.
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    This was Brian Toone's THIRD serious crash injury. He broke his jaw in 3 places in one of his crashes.

    In one of his less serious crashes a stick took him down. Injured and could not make it home. Because of...a stick.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Every other day on Zwift there a pic of a broken rider posted. This one was yesterday's. Neck broken in two places in a cycling fall.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Another gal posted her tale of a badly broken neck. She's riding 5,000 miles per year.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Toone 2014 car-bike crash:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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