More Data Needed?

Background Reading


© Mel-nik /

© Mel-nik /

The article begins:

The United States saw a nearly 62 percent increase in bicycle commutingbetween 2000 and 2013. But when it comes to reporting crashes between bikes and motor vehicles, police departments around the country are still using incident forms designed for an earlier era.

new study suggests these outdated reporting methods, which often don’t account for essential differences between the two modes of transport,represent a crucial lost opportunity. If officers recorded more detailed information about such collisions, says the study’s lead author, Dr. Anne Lusk of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, that data could be used to design streets and intersections that would be significantly safer for everyone.

The data could easily be collected, the study suggests, by changing the templates police use to record crashes, which currently have scant accommodation for bikes. The study, just published in the journal Injury Prevention, was paid for by the Japanese auto company Nissan.


‘Better understanding of crashes involving bicycles might lead to innovations such as signal lights that show a bicyclist if a driver is about to open the door.’

Actually the helmet that does this sort of thing (or is at least capable of alerting drivers and pedestrians to one another’s presence) already exists. It was developed by Volvo.

But before I get a chance to see any updates in the recording of incidents I need to know that pedestrians are taken care of first. Every time a motorist hits a cyclist the first excuse they have is that ‘they did not see them‘ or ‘they came out of nowhere‘. And yet that same excuse is being used by the gentleman riding his bike through Central Park before he hits a pedestrian.

She is dead and very little attention is being paid by cyclists to ‘cleaning up their act‘ when riding through the crosswalk.