One of the more common accidents in urban cycling is getting doored, yet, tracking bike crashes by type is not readily available data.

Transportation by bike is increasing in popularity. However, road design and driver awareness have a long way to go before are streets are safer. Many bicycle safety advocates suggest the way to lessen accidents is to get more bicyclists out on the roads. The more bicyclists on the road, the more car drivers become experienced in driving with bikes on the road, and all can get to where they are going safer and easier.

However, while urban cycling in places like New York City and Chicago has increasing amounts of bikes on the road, what we are learning about the high number of occurrence of accidents is disturbing.

One of the more common accidents in urban cycling is getting doored. Yet, tracking bike crashes by type is not readily available data.

In NYC in a very limited survey, "NYC counted bike-related infractions at 11 locations found that dooring (including near-hits) is a pervasive phenomenon with 77 infractions over the two days of measurement, 19 of them on one street alone." [3]

While in Chicago, in a state that apparently tracks dooring as a subset of bike crash type, and have 3 years recent data, "In Chicago, one in five bike crashes were caused by a dooring incident." [2]

Seeing the danger and injuries even the top pro cyclists have experienced due to car accident encounters in urban cycling situations is chilling.

Imagine, there was a day not so long ago when even velodrome racers didn't wear much in the way of real helmets, or, "brain buckets," as they call them, and even USCF Officials fought over bringing in ANSI helmet standard, according to The Brain Bucket Bash by Les Earnest

This article appeared in the September 1989 issue of Cyclops USA.

In Dave Prouty's recent book [David Prouty, In Spite of Us, VeloNews Press, Boulder, CO, 1988] relating his experiences as the first Executive Director of the USCF, he gives himself much of the credit for bringing about the adoption of the ANSI helmet standard in late 1985, and for successfully dealing with the insurance crisis of 1986. He somehow overlooked the fact that he helped cause that crisis by helping to defeat the ANSI helmet rule in 1984 when I first proposed it to the Board.

I had placed the proposed ANSI helmet rule on the legislative agenda of the October 1984 meeting of the USCF Board of Directors. In mid-September I was pleased to receive a letter from USCF attorney Brian Geddes that generally supported my proposal on the grounds that it would reduce the Federation's liability.

Looking at the commonality of dooring accident statistics and the pro cycling racers accounts of their injuries sustained from car accidents is chilling.

The New York Times Blog wrote in June this year, "Really? Cycling Is the Top Sport for Head Injuries"

[...] According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, cycling accidents played a role in about 86,000 of the 447,000 sports-related head injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2009. Football accounted for 47,000 of those head injuries, and baseball played a role in 38,394. [...] In New York City, 75 percent of all fatal bike accidents involve a head injury.

Oregon Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

In Oregon, you are covered by your auto insurance personal injury protection while on a bike, and the at fault car driver's insurance is the one that should pay.

RESOURCES

1. Vulnerable on the Open Road: Five pro cyclists reflect on bike safety

2. Data from only STATE in USA that tracks dooring shows it is a big problem Data from only STATE in USA that tracks dooring shows it is a big problem

3. NYC Aims to Stop Bike "Dooring" by Targeting Taxis