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Bikes and Peds Don't Get a Fair Shake

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  • Ed Beighe
    http://www.ucolick.org/~de/AltTrans/justice/ de, lots of food for thought here. I ve often wondered about how often a true accident occurs: ... Some
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 27, 2005
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      http://www.ucolick.org/~de/AltTrans/justice/

      de,
      lots of food for thought here.
      I've often wondered about how often a "true" accident occurs:
      "... Some accidents are really accidents -- gear failure, a tie-down breaks on a load, a tyre explodes, driver has a heart attack, road collapses, an unexpected windstorm blows a camper over."

      gear failure -- most often involving a heavy truck, was the vehicle properly maintained?
      tie down break -- Did the tier do their job diligently? We have had a spate of cement mixer-trailers going off on their own at speed, they generally don't have the legally-required tether.
      tyre problem -- most often the result of improper inflation
      driver has a medical problem -- most drivers i know don't follow medical advice, in other words they know and have been told they "shouldn't" be driving but they do so anyways. I know people with seizure problems that still drive. I know a blind person that drives (no sh!t!). Repeat heart problem people driving, and so forth.
      road collapse -- ok.
      windstorm -- maybe.

      Anyways, I am under the impression that this all adds up to a statistically insignificant fraction of the road deaths. Thoughts?



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • richardmasoner
      ... Risk can never be completely eliminated. We assess risk all the time at a subconscious level -- I don t check the conditions of my brakes, tires,
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 27, 2005
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        --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Beighe" <ebeighe@h...> wrote:

        > Anyways, I am under the impression that this all adds up
        > to a statistically insignificant fraction of the road
        > deaths. Thoughts?

        Risk can never be completely eliminated. We assess risk all the time
        at a subconscious level -- I don't check the conditions of my brakes,
        tires, drivetrain, frame and headset before every ride because I know
        the risk of failure is small. Even if a failure occurs the
        consequences are probably on the order of inconvenience rather than
        serious injury or death for me or someone else. Car and truck drivers
        do the same thing all the time and usually nothing happens.

        Yet, yesterday a cyclist lost control less than a mile from my work
        and apparently swerved right in front of a bus in a 65 mph zone. She
        was dragged under the bus for several car lengths before the bus
        driver could stop. Today Carolyn is in extremely grave condition in a
        hospital in Denver.

        We'll probably never know why she swerved (there were several
        witnesses -- both motorists and cyclists), but speculation is that she
        had a front tire blowout of some kind. Was it a manufacturing defect?
        Should Carolyn have inspected her tire before the ride?

        Perhaps there is something Carolyn could have done to prevent this
        accident, but in all likelihood she practiced some reasonable level of
        bike maintenance and, in this circumstance, that led to her collision
        with a city bus.

        RFM
      • dianehust
        ... Any word today on our fellow bicyclist s condition? Diane Fitzsimmons Norman, Okla., USA
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 31, 2005
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          --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "richardmasoner" <richardmasoner@y...>
          wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > Yet, yesterday a cyclist lost control less than a mile from my work
          > and apparently swerved right in front of a bus in a 65 mph zone. She
          > was dragged under the bus for several car lengths before the bus
          > driver could stop. Today Carolyn is in extremely grave condition in a
          > hospital in Denver.
          >


          Any word today on our fellow bicyclist's condition?

          Diane Fitzsimmons
          Norman, Okla., USA
        • richardmasoner
          ... Thank you for asking, Diane. Carolyn s condition has been upgraded. Broken bones in legs, pelvis, ribs, and some internal injuries but she s expected to
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 31, 2005
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            --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "dianehust" <dcfitzsimmons@o...> wrote:

            > Any word today on our fellow bicyclist's condition?

            Thank you for asking, Diane.

            Carolyn's condition has been upgraded. Broken bones in legs, pelvis,
            ribs, and some internal injuries but she's expected to recover. She
            has several years of physical therapy ahead of her, though, with
            limited use of legs expected for the near future. Carolyn has a
            husband and two sons, ages 10 and 13. A couple of my neighbor's go the
            same church as Carolyn.

            The sheriff is leaving the investigation open until they're able to
            interview Carolyn. It's unclear if she was hit by another vehicle
            before the bus hit her, if she lost control and veered in front of the
            bus, or if the bus swerved onto the shoulder.

            RFM
            http://www.cyclelicio.us/
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