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We don't always blame the victim; sometimes we blame the streetcar tracks.

(Fantastic piece, btw)

These types of comments depress me to the point that, when I'm not in a combative mood, I avoid articles where pedestrians and cyclists are killed by drivers.

You know how in many states the driver of a car who rear ends another driver is considered almost automatically at fault? I would like to see that applied for driver-pedestrian and driver-cyclist accidents. As the operator of a large vehicle that can very easily kill unprotected road (sidewalk, etc.) users, drivers should automatically be considered at fault, and the burden should be on them to provide evidence to the contrary. That would clean things up right quick. Can we get that done soonish? Thanks.

I think that is how it works some places in Europe. In a crash there is presumed guilt (but that's not the right term) for the larger vehicle (car>bike>ped).

My imperfect memory is that's how it's done in the Netherlands.

I'd also like a pony, btw.

The thing that bothered me second most about that driver's comments is that all of those things are totally legal for bicyclists to do. Another reason why driver's need to learn what actual laws are and follow them.

It seems that there are some drivers who are really set off by cyclists switching from road to sidewalk or back, even though it's perfectly legal. It offends their sense of justice or something. I've never got it. Do they get mad when cars with 3 passengers switch in and out of the HOV lane? Or when buses move out of the bus lane?

Another good data point is "Killed by Automobile" by Komanoff. Going from memory, but he has the observation that in fatal car/bicycle crashes the driver of the car is male in 90% of cases*. Since this is far greater than the proportion of male drivers on the road, and being male is strongly correlated with aggressiveness, this is strong circumstantial evidence that driver behavior is a major contributor to collisions and driver aggression is a major factor.

*(When the driver is identified. My recollection is that roughly a third of fatal accidents are hit-and-run and the driver is never identified.)

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