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Solution? HELMENTS!

David, you of all people should know that wearing a helmet magically protects you from cars not seeing you and people opening their doors in your way.

For speeding, bicycles were tabbed 55 times but cars only 26? That seems off.

It does, doesn't it. I don't have time to find the actual report, but maybe someone else can?

I think this is the report: http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/uploads/16776_49_15_27.pdf

Table 1A says bicyclist speeding was noted 57 times and driver was speeding 24 times. This is based solely on the notes written down by the police office in each report and there is this caveat:

1A, 1B, and 1C list the number of casesin which police officers mentioned behavioral factors potentially associated with the crash occurrence. It must be noted, however, that it is neither customary nor required for officers to document many of these themes. Therefore, it is possible that some of these behaviors occurred more often than noted below, yet were not documented."

Well, of course this is perfectly logical. If boaters are in danger of drowning, you require them to wear life vests. If head injuries are a danger in construction sites, you mandate helmets. You don't compel the sea to become dry or enjoin gravity from pulling things downward.

Driver behavior is an immutable law of nature; all we can do is work with it as it exists.

Once again the ideal cyclist problem. Cars think we are too slow, but police think we are too fast.

red lights tickets for bikers = good.

mandatory helmets = bad.

Mandatory talismans = best.

Major correlation/causation conflation here. Wouldn't riders who are generally less risk averse both eschew helmets and ride stupidly? I'd like to see the overlap of cyclists who were at fault for their crash with those who weren't wearing helmets. I bet it's pretty high.

Also, the speeding result makes sense only in that drivers may be speeding at the time of the collision, but that wasn't the cause of the accident

@oboe and Crickey7: Maryland requires windsurfers to either wear a life vest or a harness. The harness has no flotation, though it is rarely used by novices. So all it really does is tell the Coast Guard that this windsurfer has some skill. So that is really a mandatory talisman, no?

So how about this: A cyclist must wear a helmet, a hat, a turban, or long hair.

@duffmanrb: If you read the book City Cycling, which is a collection of chapters edited by J Pucher and R Buehler, you will find a chapter on safety. In that chapter are three pages on helmets. Therein the authors suggest exactly what you are suggesting. In their case they are explaining the correlation found in emergency-room studies (cyclists who end up in emergency rooms wear helmets less often than the population at large) and why that differs from population-level studies (these show helmets have no significant effect. Or maybe a little effect).

Specifically, they suggest that the real connections are a) lack of caution leads to no helmet and b) lack of caution also leads to the emergency room.

Will clip-on dreadlocks work?

A little Hebrew stenciled around the helmet covers all the bases. Use the reflective letters.

My bet is that "speeding" is an after crash assessment by the police of "too fast for the current conditions."

Meaning mostly, when a motor vehicle violated the bicyclist's rigt-of-way, the bicyclist was unable to avoid a collision. So obviously the bicycle was going too fast.

Clearly there's a lot that drivers need to do to prevent a big chunk of these incidents from occuring; however, the ~100 incidents that occured after a cyclist ran a red light/stop sign, and the 108 crashes after a cyclist rode into opposing traffic... that's on the cyclist. I'm all for the Idaho stop, but if you get hit by a car after running a red light, then you're doing something wrong.

The top two crash numbers (the driver not seeing the cyclist, and dooring) may go down with experience, enforcement, driver education, and infrastructure improvements; the bottom six items are iffy, and will probably be with us for a while (and are what--non-mandatory--helmets are for); but the remaining 26% of crashes are totally within our control.

I get that some of these incidents were caused by folks salmoning because of a lack of good infrastructure, or are false police reports, but there's a full quarter of crash incidents that we can potentially stop, all on our lonesome, without any input from AAA, simply by being a little less careless.

Helmet laws reduce the number of cyclists on the road or path (compared to the number without a helmet law). The more cyclists there are on the road, the less likely each is to get into a crash (and also the more jurisdictions will spend on better bike facilities). So by requiring helmets, you'd make current cyclists who already wear helmets less safe. You're in effect punishing the conscientious helmet-wearer like me in order to supposedly protect someone who either has a good reason for not wearing a helmet or has only bad reasons, but either way should have to take responsibility for their choice. Don't make me suffer just to protect a dumb rider from himself.

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