Last night I had one of those comments that reminds me why I’ve devoted so much of my life to this site.
It came from “Nick’s mom”. Nick is Nick Moreno, a 17-year-old boy who died in the ICU on October 29th, one day after he was struck by a car while trying to cross McLoughlin Blvd. on his bike (read more about Nick in this Oregonian story).
Read her comment below:
A week before this Nick came home with injuries from head to toe because he had been run off the road by a car. Nick ended up being thrown off his bike. The driver didn’t even stop. Nick ended up in the ER because we thought he had a broken ankle. Nick’s friends told me being run off the road by vehicles happens all the time to them.
According to Nick’s friends, Nick was a very cautious rider, always aware of his surroundings. A half hour later after Nick got hit, we drove by the intersection coming from River Rd. One thing that stood out in my mind was how “lit up” the intersection was. It was a clear night that night, no rain, no fog. Also, Nick didn’t see the lights on the car? Did the car have their headlights on?
I find it odd that between “two” men in a vehicle, neither of them saw Nick. They said they didn’t know what they hit. Interestingly enough….A Gladstone police officer had seen Nick seconds before and was turning around in Burgerville parking lot to stop and talk to Nick.
Nick’s friends are questioning the speed of Teters (the guy who hit Nick) because of the damage to Nick’s bike. They believe the guy had to have been going faster than 43 mph. Nick’s bike was not made out of the normal steel used in most bikes. The steel was a much stronger, reinforced specialized steel(maybe someone else that knew Nick and his bike can elaborate on this).
When I was at OHSU looking at my son lay there in ICU with a massive brain injury, I spoke with two doctors that told me that they see these types of critical bike/vehicle incidents “all the time”. I thought they meant every few months…they said, “NO….ALL THE TIME.” This is just pathetic.
Oregon drivers need a serious wake-up call and I plan on giving it to them. I am not one to take vengeance, but I am not going to just allow my son to be killed, then be told that it is happening all the time to other bike riders, and just roll over like it’s all okay in the name of an “accident”. The stakes have to be raised.
Drivers need to stop being distracted and start paying attention to their surroundings if they would like the privilege of having a drivers license.
It’s really sad that fatal situations like this are usually what trigger laws to be changed. I’d like to see drivers licenses taken away and/or suspended for a good long time. If you drive like an airhead….you need your license taken away.
Let some of these people be forced to become bike riders and have to put up with the inconsiderate, selfish BS from drivers. Maybe that would be an eye opener.
— Learn more about Nick from the Oregonian: Crash victim was avid biker
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I wonder how much survivor’s bias plays into the police report.
ARE there statistics on how often “all the time” really is? This is really horrible — but I’m also noticing that it’s nothing like what I experience on my commute — never been run off the road, etc. Maybe it’s just that certain roads are worse than others? Still horrible, either way.
My sincerest condolences to the family. I wholeheartedly agree with every point she makes and the tone with which she makes them.
I ride alone and also ride with my two kids aboard my bike. I am forced to rely upon other road users doing what they should. I carefully choose routes and ride defensibly but if someone is drunk or texting on their phone, they risk MY family’s safety.
The culture of driving needs to lean towards the European model where they take it a bit more seriously. Roads are narrow and [real] traffic circles require drivers to pay attention and apply a small measure of skill. Here we have made it too easy. It’s so easy that drivers start multitasking at the risk of vulnerable road users.
To end with her quote, “This is just pathetic!”
McGloughlin Bv. is scary in the day to ride, let alone in the evening under darkness.
Not enough words or time to express how bad I feel about these incidents. Cannot stress the need to be careful out there. We are the traffic. And in such numbers we are experiencing what I believe motorcycle riders have known for a long time, you cannot be too careful. Recently I have witnessed riders blowing through stop signs in the Pearl. Have seen enough cars ignore traffic signs in the area I am super cautious even when driving my car. Now I am worried about getting hit by a bike. The only thing that worries me more is wet and dark commuting riders when I am driving. I can’t be careful enough, but what about other drivers who do not have a clue or the desire to be aware? Please be careful.
And there truly needs to be a funded system of education for retraining ex-drivers who have lost the driving privilege on how to use transit, bicycle, etc.
This would help to reduce the repeat offender problem that our society has when drivers drive without certification.
how does she plan on delivering this wake up call to over 3 milliion people in this state, exactly?
I’m just curious….but a ballot in front of me and I’ll sign it…tell me who to contact to create a legitimate change in the laws and I’ll do it…give me a rally to attend and I’ll be there..
Solution: make cars pay their share for road wear, environmental destruction, etc. Stop making it so affordable to driver whereever you want. Oregon needs to wake up, we are one of the only states without a vechicular manslaughter law. The “vunerable users” law is a joke because its not being used by DAs. Laws such as texting / talking on a cell phone need to be put in place and enforced. Speedlimits need to be adhered to.
Finally, the supreme court of Oregon needs to get its head out of its ass and start allowing DUI checkpoints. You want to talk about a real revenue stream…
it is true, OHSU trauma units see a majority of the bike/car collision victims in this town, reported or unreported….I think most of you would be surprised by how many actually…
I read Nick’s Mom’s comment on the other thread. It’s a heartbreaking story, but the fact remains, if it’s true…. ( though I wonder how it is OSP is so confident as to be able to make the following statement:
“Oregon State Police reported that Moreno’s bicycle crossed the highway against a red light and did not have lighting equipment. State police were continuing to investigate, but Hastings said no citations are expected. ” from the O article )
…Nick, crossed McLoughlin against a red light. Late at night. McLoughlin is a nasty, old, very fast road. Anyone familiar with the area, which it sounds as though Nick was, should know that. If he really did cross against a red light, then he used tragically bad judgment. As a needed counterpoint, we can certainly say, and it would be right and true to do so, that ‘We need better road infrastructure’.
We can not wait for the arrival of better road infrastructure to start having people exercising better judgment in using the infrastructure that exists presently.
“Drivers need to stop being distracted and start paying attention to their surroundings if they would like the privilege of having a drivers license.”
Exactly! We need to change the law so that if you are talking on the phone reach down to pick something up off the floor you will pay a price if you injure someone. These are not accidents, they are bad decisions just like deciding to drink and drive or speed.
bahueh, maybe we need to be surprised. Is there any way to post here each time? Or stats each month/week? How do we get this info to those that need it? i.e. gov’t, bad drivers, police.
Wsbob, I appreciate your call for everyone to be careful out there.
But please remember that you cannot always take the police report as the final word on a crash. It is often very difficult for police to find out what actually happened in a crash where a fatality occurred, as the victim cannot speak for himself, and the survivors may not have a clear sense of what happened.
Remember this story?
A young man was riding safely and legally downtown, and a driver hit him after going into diabetic shock and losing control of his car. When the police arrived, the victim was unconscious and the driver issued a statement saying he “came out of nowhere” and was riding the wrong way down the one way street (not true). Guess what made it into the police report and the newspapers?
This is an all-too-frequent scenario.
By the way, ask and ye shall receive. We have a new feature in the works similar to this:
As a European I feel that American driver are too chivalrous about driving — nobody would accept calls, eat or text while operating a chain saw or driving a fork lift. There are no DVD players in airplane cockpits for the copilots.
Cars are ‘heavy machinery’ and we need to operate them with awareness.
Reminds me of another Nick…my former neighbor, Nick Bucher (killed by a wreckless driver, after midnight, on Stark Street, February 2007). He was another victim taken to OHSU, where he died from his injuries.
Maybe a grad student at PSU or OHSU can get a grant to gather hospital statistics on bike crashes?
It has always been my understanding that who is ever operating the equipment that has the greatest potential for damage carries the greatest responsibility for other people’s safety.
When I’m riding my bike I slow down on the SRC and I stop at pedestrian crosswalks if a person is crossing.
Has this lesson been forgotten or maybe not even taught?
Having a driving license and driving a car is a privilege and so is riding a bike. With privileges come responsibility.
not being responsible = not having any privileges!
Tom and Laura…that’s the exact problem..this is no comprehensive reporting system or database collection that is currently done in real time…these things typically involve retrospective chart pulls by an interested medical student, resident, or research fellow…..
Trauma units aren’t all that interested in the cause of the collisions typically..they leave that up to the police..they’re interested in helping the patient survive it, so case reports will probably leave out very important details that policy makers need to know in order to design effective policy…
enforcement of such public health policy is another world all to itself..
Elly, I agree completely with your caution about the police report. That’s why, in raising this point, I said “though I wonder how it is OSP is so confident as to be able to make the following statement: …”
For everyone’s benefit, when the OSP or some other law enforcement agency makes a statement like this to the press, it should be accompanied by supporting information; for example; ‘Were there witnesses or investigative info that confirm this statement?’
I don’t want to falsely imply that the OSP did anything inappropriate here, but the way the O story reads, it’s almost suggests the possibility that their statement was based on allegations of the driver of the vehicle.
Many European countries have a “one-strike-you’re-out” rule when it comes to causing serious injuries like this.
Assuming Nick was operating lawfully (esp. operating his vehicle on the right side of the road, executing legal lane changes, and was legally illuminated), isn’t it only appropriate that the operator of the motor vehicle lose his license for life?
Think of the message it would send to other drivers, that if you cause serious injury or death you will spend the rest of your life dodging other motorists on foot or a bicycle.
I’m beginning to think that our casual attitude to motorist inflicted injuries is a lot like the public attitude towards drunk driving 75 years ago, a kind of “who cares?”.
“Mothers Against Murderous Drivers”? Think about it….
Again and again I’ve got to say riders MUST take the proper precautions. Car’s don’t (most) dive at night without head and tail lights. That’s for a reason, they are difficult, if not impossible to see at night. Bikes are typically even more so due to their smaller size and often lack of reflectors or other safety features. If you ride at night and don’t have the right BASIC equipment, such as a 20$ rear blinking tail light, you are only increasing your risk. When you pedal your bike on a road you immeditaly assume responsibility for yourself. If you choose to not take basic precautions then the odds of something happening increase dramatically. It’s a horrible thing, what happened to Nick, but again, I hope this serves as a moment of awakening for everyone. What’s more sad is that younger people, even into their upper teens, haven’t been taught to be safe. Parents too need to be responsible for their kids safety.
All in all, this does happen way way to often, but come on people!!! Get with the program. Helmets, lights, and follow the law, don’t run reds, or even yellows, ride defensivly and hopefully, you’ll have done enough to stay reasonably safe.
This goes to show that EVERYONE, drivers and bikers, need to be more aware and courteous.
Just last night, I was driving downtown and approached an intersection that I had the green light for. Right before I reached the intersection, a biker blew right through the intersection, from the direction where he would have had the red light. It scared the crap out of me and I laid on my horn, but he didn’t even slow down. If I had been driving just a “little” faster or had left 2 seconds earlier, I could have been in the intersection at the same time as him, very scary!
Another time, I nearly hit a biker because they were in my blind spot as I crossed a bike lane into a turn lane. I realized this was partly my fault, so I stopped and made sure they were OK. I think they were freaked out, which I totally understand. I never saw them as I was driving down the street, as it was on a downgrade so I think they were going nearly as fast as me.
Hopefully, now that the election is over,
the oil companies will have a pricing “tantrum,” and the price of gasoline will rise enough to put many of these redneck white trash scum out of their cars.
It can be argued that there is no such thing as an “accident” as the collision could have been prevented in most cases. In this state, license suspension does not have teeth. How often have we read of events where someone gets struck and the driver is found to have a repeatedly/currently suspended license? My first thought is that if your license gets suspended, the keys should go with it; perhaps after claiming the keys (you’ve lost your privilege through your own decisions) they could hand you a relatively cheap stock bicycle (equipped with tail/head lights) and a helmet.
So, here we are almost one year to the day from the rally held 11/17/07. Where organizers spoke of organizing to address this ongoing issue. We’ll hear more in a month or two, we were told. What happened? Ten days from now will be the one year anniversary of this event, and we’ve got absolutely nothing to show for it. More than adequate support was demonstrated by the community, local government, and law enforcement. Who dropped the ball? Who failed to follow through? And who is willing and equipped to pick up this effort and carry it through? All we need is a little organizing…
I am in complete agreement that drivers who injure or kill other road users should face at the least lenghty suspension, and preferably revocation of driving priveleges. The problem is taking someone’s lisence is little guarantee that they will stop driving, only that they will be more likely to be uninsured.
We seem to have plenty of folks from other states, or even countries, posting here. Is there a working solution in place anywhere? If so, what?
I totally agree with you that riders need to take all precautions and ride defensively – my husbands calls it “riding as if you are invisible”. But I still think that we need to re-evaluate our attitude towards driving – there are cars out there now that do have DVD players in their dashboards and you can check email over your gps…
When you ride, you have to pay attention and I don’t expect anything else from a driver!
I since all I have to base comment on are the “filed reports”, I will presume Nick was riding with adaquate lighting, a helmet and no head phones. Nor will I acuse him of any wrong doing.
However, there is more than one kind of moron on the road. There is the cyclist, like the one I almost hit last night, while I was RIDING home. It was dusk, slight rain, enough to make me blink quite a bit, or blurr a windsheild. I was going an estimated 14 mph, headed east on Killingsworth just past MLK. I currently ride with 3 high intensity lights on the back and one on the front, but I still feel like I need more. As usual, I was paying ample attention to the traffic, keeping to the right and scouting for pot holes. Then I saw him about 10 feet in front of me. Going about 10mph, dressed in black, no helmet and no lights. Needless to say I would have been up his backside if I had any distractions to deal with. This wasn’t just some local yocal either. He had a nice ride, panniers and fancy rain gear. So, I graced him with some of my finest vocabulary and he replied: I just haven’t had the time to get lights or a helmet.
My point being, if a cyclist has a hard time seeing another cyclist, a car isn’t going to see him either. It’s up to YOU to be safe! When you ride down a street like Killingsworth or McLoughlin YOU take the chance, YOU know the risks. I accept responsibility for MYSELF.
If a hipster with no brakes, lights or a helmet gets hit, I feel bad, but I have no empathy for them.
Bottom line… We cannot assume others, cyclists or motorists, are looking out for us. If you want to go bombing through busy intersections, even with the green light, you should have your hands on the brakes, eyes up and ears open.
It is possible that the police report isn’t accurate, but I also see unlit cyclists in dark clothing breaking traffic laws way more times than I can even count. I also have the same complaint with pedestrians.
You might think I would be shocked at the number treated at OHSU, but I am actually shocked at the number that don’t get hit.
A well lit intersection can make an unlit and darkly dressed rider even more difficult to see because they are so invisible in contrast to the lights.
I always think that these riders must not also be drivers and have maybe never taken the time to look around at night at what is difficult to see, but it is so hard to believe that at least some of these riders do not know how invisible they are.
I really wish there was more enforcement to make cyclists ride more safely, because many seem entirely unwilling to do it on their own.
I would NEVER dream of riding invisibly. The one time I had both rear lights fail, I called a cab that had room for both my bike and I – even though I was fairly close to home and had well lit but little traveled roads to ride on. I couldn’t really afford it, but the ER costs even more.
Visibility, visibility, visibility! Why in hell do cyclists persist, not only in riding after dark without lights, but riding in our grey climate and green surroundings in earth toned colors?! Look, fashion victims, get over yourselves–neon clothing has a purpose and it works well for it. I am just not ignorant to understand the insane and idiotic preference for dark, inconspicuous clothing for cycling–I like to ride dressed like a combination pro cyclist and highway flagger. People will, like, see you on foggy days from inside their cars that way.
Yes, anyone on a bike should use lights at night, wear a helmet, bright colors, etc. We have a long way to go there.
But there’s only so far that gets you.
Many, many people are killed in traffic crashes every year, on a bike, in a car, or on foot, while behaving perfectly safely and legally. There are plenty of stories out there of cyclists killed while decked out in reflective gear, lights, helmets, riding in the bike lane, signaling their turns, etc.
There is no magic protection, folks.
Even when cyclists are riding unpreparedly or unsafely that does not necessarily exonerate the driver who hits them. And in this case we have no idea. Did the driver have their lights on? Were they speeding?
Placing the blame doesn’t solve the problems, which are legion.
John, #25, asked about last year’s rally for Brett and Tracey, and why there hasn’t been an event this year. An annual “State of the Streets” event was planned, but none of the organizers were able to carve time away from their personal lives to follow through. It wasn’t put on by an organization, just by individuals, several of whom took many hours off from our paying jobs and personal lives to make it happen. I would really like to make this happen but life is life. Maybe it’s not too late this year. I can’t spend two weeks focusing on getting it right but maybe there is someone out there who can? The team exists, it just needs a leader.
So if anyone has organization, time, money, energy to throw into making such an event happen, lets talk: elly at bikeportland dot org.
As for education, all cyclist who drive cars should be sporting the new Share The Road plates. It didn’t cost much extra and I have been told that the money goes go toward education.
It’s a small step in the right direction.
I just had a long talk with my state rep here in TX about laws that need to be passed. We are still trying to get a 3-foot passing law here, as well as making aggressive moves with a motor vehicle come under our “menacing” laws. I also suggested stronger penalties for causing death and/or injury, along with automatic penalties for certain offenses, like hitting a cyclist from behind. I also mentioned that education was a lot cheaper than infrastructure, as well as cheaper to maintain…
Jason (#20) said,
“I’m beginning to think that our casual attitude to motorist inflicted injuries is a lot like the public attitude towards drunk driving 75 years ago, a kind of ‘who cares?’.”
This is a huge part of the problem, in my opinion. First, we treat driving/riding itself as “no big deal”. When hopping in the car or onto the bike, we tend not to think to ourselves that we are about to participate in one of the most dangerous everyday activities in the world. We don’t take the responsibility of our own and others’ safety on the roads nearly as seriously as we should.
Second, when something does happen, we shake our heads and imagine that it was just a tragic, unavoidable “accident”–part of the cost of doing business on the road. Citations are rarely issued, and everybody goes on their way with no change in awareness or attitude.
The comparison of distracted/reckless driving to drunk driving is apt; there is an ever-growing stigma attached to drunk drivers nowadays that was not always there. It is a source of shame to anyone caught driving drunk–and the penalties can be harsh. We need the same cultural attitude adjustment regarding cavalier driving: one that reflects an awareness of how dangerous the streets can be when we ignore laws and assume everyone else will look out for us.
More strict enforcement of traffic laws might go a short distance toward improving the problem, but most of the time either violators are only “busted” after some type of collision/incident, or individuals who receive citations do not modify their driving behavior to make themselves safer drivers. The public’s mentality regarding enforcement is usually along the lines of “catch me if you can”, or “no cop, no stop”. It seems that legal deterrents to dangerous driving are few and not very effective.
Unless we all wake up and acknowledge that “me first” doesn’t cut it, tragic incidents like this will continue to happen.
None of this is to say that traveling should be a grim, white-knuckle, teeth-gritting experience. We should be able to enjoy a morning bike commute or a Sunday drive in the car. If we compare road travel to something more “extreme” like mountaineering, we can see that even though mountain climbers go to great lengths to ensure their safety, and follow fairly strict rules and “best practices”, they obviously enjoy participating in that activity or they wouldn’t be doing it. We can pay due attention to the hefty potential for injury, yet still enjoy traveling on our roads. In fact, if everyone gave sober attention to safe driving/riding, we might all enjoy it much more.
Can we have separated bike lanes now?
Laws might be more closeley obeyed if drivers felt some genuine fear of police–maybe a few white, wealthy, Range-Rover-Driving Kendra Jameses would be a good thing.
You are correct separated bike lanes would have TOTALLY helped this situation.
Seriously, if you think about it…….they would have just totally avoided this entire thing.
Buy a clue.
baheuh (#7) – Here’s some ideas I think we should be fighting for:
1. Change the definition of “careless” driving to include distracted driving – lower the bar so the Vulnerable Roadway Users law comes into play.
2. Increase the number of questions on the driving test (BTA is working on it)
3. Mandatory refesher testing when renewing a license (BTA is working on it)
4. Vehicular homicide law (BTA is working on it)
5. Advertising campaign to raise awareness of the consequences of distracted driving
6. Public rally (or 4)
7. Kick Wayne Krieger out of office so non-drivers can be protected (Krieger believes cyclists should stay out of “the traffic lane”, even though we have a right to be there)
Item #7 might be a little challenging since Krieger’s district is in SW Oregon.
toddistic (#8) – Amen.
Mike (#17) – the problem is that too many people (many of whom serve at the local, state AND federal levels) forget that driving is not a right. Also, they use cyclist misbehavior to justify their positions, which punishes everyone for the misbehavior of a few. This is analagous to banning cars entirely because some criminals use them to commit crimes.
Arem (#24) – there’s a simple fix for that. If you are caught driving on a suspended license (and it’s not because you’re driving someone to the hospital or something equally dire), then the car you are driving is confiscated and sold at auction. Period. If the car was stolen, it’s returned to the owner, of course. That would also keep people from wanting to loan their car to people with a suspended license. (and in that case, the auction proceeds could go back to the owner of the car)
John (#25) – most of the organizers of that event spent the following 6 months preparing for and hosting an international conference to provide alternatives to cars. We do need someone to pick up the ball on this, but it’s the kind of thing that requires a full-time, paid individual. Are you willing to help pay someone’s salary in order to do this?
Tbird (#35) – Only if they’re not going to create a bike ghetto. All modes have an equal right to access, and that means at least part of the system has to be shared – and that part needs to be safe for ALL modes, which means all modes will need to make some sort of sacrifice when using it.
Just because someone has had their license suspended doesn’t mean they can’t drive.
It just means that they’ll drive with no license.
I would love to see better barriers to driving once the privlege of a license has been lost. Like, your car gets towed and impounded until you get your license back– and you have to pay all the fees associated with towing and storage.
Yeah, it would be nice to have all the drivers who injure or kill vulnerable road users have their licenses yanked, but in reality, is that going to stop the madness, or change anything?
My bet is no.
Now I’m going to go read the rest of the comments.
“You are correct separated bike lanes would have TOTALLY helped this situation.
Seriously, if you think about it…….they would have just totally avoided this entire thing.”
How? would the separated bike lane have been along another road so Nick wouldn’t have been in this location? Would there have been a bridge over McLoughlin so he didn’t have to cross at street level? As far as I know, separated bike lanes or even bike trails still have to cross surface streets at some point. Until you can completely eliminate intersections, incidents like this are possible.
I was being sarcastic.
It would make these types of crashes more frequent.
Elly and Matt: Thanks for the heads up, and apologies for the shrill post. With the similar incident and similar reaction to what was going on this time last year, I kinda flashed back a bit.
Matt: I’d kick in. And I live in Vancouver! Because somewhere in this country, all of this strongly held and common (within certain perceptual boundaries) view towards establishing an ethical and equal treatment of transportation needs to find a common aim. Wherever this happens, it will set ground breaking precedents while providing a path to similar benefits for other communities; maybe even providing the seeds of a wider advocacy group….. You’re right, it does seem quite probably like decades of work! Gotta start somewhere, though.
Maybe a monthly meeting time/place?
Either one would need to eventually be stoutly moderated to maintain productivity…
To Nick’s mom, My thoughts and prayers are with you right now. I admire your strength and courage. It is a beautiful thing to be able to channel your grief into helping others. I’m so afraid to let my babies grow up and here they are doing it without my permission. Please, please, please, let’s get this figured out!
Matt Picio, you are right on. #5 should include a ban on cell phone use while driving. I observed a woman in my neighborhood just yesterday blowing through an intersection not slowing down even the least bit, cell phone pasted to her ear, and without looking until it was obviously an afterthought. I often like to time myself until I’m almost at their door in these instances, especially at night so I can shine my light into their faces. Maybe the scare will wake them up.
“Yeah, it would be nice to have all the drivers who injure or kill vulnerable road users have their licenses yanked, but in reality, is that going to stop the madness, or change anything?”
How about jail time?
How come China has totally separated bike lanes, but we don’t?
Here is why…Portland posited is self (falsely) as a bike friendly city. This resulted in people who ride bikes moving here in droves. Without any real infrastructure to support the new mass of riders, this was inevitiable.
Portland should be ashamed that they have told such a lie. This town benfits from masses moving here (increased tax roles, avoiding the dreaded foreclosure crisis for example).
And we should be demanding the local govenment put up (infrastructure) or shut up (about being a great bikable city).
I see better bike infrastructure in Washington and California for crying out loud.
And no, a handful of bike blvds is not ‘great infrastructure’.
Nowhere near enough is being done to educate drivers.
Shame on you all for poopooing this woman.
“Maybe a grad student at PSU or OHSU can get a grant to gather hospital statistics on bike crashes?”
I am a public health grad student and I am thinking about writing my thesis on bike collisions and injuries. What is the bike community interested is learning?
Comparing cyclists in collisions vs those not in collisions? (personal risk factors)
What types of places do collisions and injuries occur? (built environment risk factors)
The burden of injuries in the community?
Tell me what you all are interested in.
This is great.
Built environment risk factors would be a very valuable study — knowing that certain kinds of intersections or engineering features increase/decrease risk could really help prioritize infrastructure investments.
It seems like it would also be valuable to know, and it boggles my mind that we don’t know, exactly how many crashes there are. “All the time” is a lot.
Pat and Elly you both are on the right track. But how is a study on an infrastructure that has been built around motorist going to help the cyclist? The study would have to also include the perspective of the motorists; otherwise you will have a bias outcome. We have to truly understand why the motorist are hitting cyclist and why cyclists are getting hit. There was a comment earlier and it was how “Portland has poised itself as the friendliest biking city”. This is the problem because I have been racing, touring, and commuting for 20yrs and I rarely feel safe enough to call Portland the friendliest biking city. Maybe those young hipsters who rode w/out helmets on summer days blowing stop signs and weaving in/out of traffic w/out a care in the world have since grown up, moved away, or just stop riding all together didn’t experience what most cyclist and motorists experience today, more people in cars, high gas prices, outdated infrastructure, and growing attitudes that one is better than the other. When these unfortunate accidents happen I remind myself every time I saddle up to be extra careful and remember that I’m riding next to cars that are going much faster than I. Be safe cyclists and motorists.
Pat, one thing we need is something to use against the helmet Nazis. I’m personally in favor of wearing helmets because it’s all we have as far as PPE, but I would like a way to document how helmets built to CPSC standards fail to prevent head injuries in car v. bike wrecks. Also if you could somehow correlate the motor vehicle impact speed to severity of injury and survivability that would be wonderful. I want some data I can show my Congresscritter to either ramp up the CPSC standard or get rid of mandatory helmet laws by banning them at the federal level. If someone is going to force me to wear a helmet I want a helmet that will protect me if I get hit by a car, which is a situation I have little to no control over. Also if you could track injuries besides head injuries correlated to motor vehicle impact speed. I had both in my wreck, a closed wound head injury, and severe orthopedic injuries with multiple broken bones and soft tissue trauma and a skin graft to cover the hole blown out of my leg, but from what I understand by talking to ER nurses my case was extreme.