1.Examples of Bicycle Accidents
  Two typical examples of bicycle accidents are outlined and the errors made by bicyclists or drivers are underlined below.
Event Summary
1) A bicycle and a car both started when the green light turned on.
2) The bicycle proceeded on the crosswalk at a hurried pace.
3) While starting a left turn, the driver of the car glimpsed at the store on the corner out of curiosity.
4) The bicyclist caught good sight of the car but kept on progressing, judging that he had the right of way and that the car would     stop accordingly.
5) They nevertheless collided.

Fig.1 Accident Example 1

[Safety Points]
1) Drivers often have difficulty spotting a bicycle running through pedestrians.
2) If the crosswalk has a special bicycle section, the bicyclist must proceed within the section. If no such section, the bicyclist must     still proceed within - not outside - the crosswalk.
3) Even if the bicyclist has a good view of the approaching car, the driver may have only a poor view of a bicycle in front. Before     crossing a street, therefore, the bicyclist should check the driver's response by observing his eyes.
Event Summary
1) At a blind intersection, the driver stopped his car beyond the stop line while paying attention to the traffic from the right.
2) In the same intersection, a bicyclist was progressing on his right sidewalk permitting both pedestrians and bicycles.
3) The bicyclist saw the car's bonnet but kept progressing, taking it for granted that the driver saw him.
4) They collided.

Fig.2 Accident Example 2

[Safety Points]
1) Bicycles must stop or slow down at any intersection, even while progressing on a sidewalk.
2) A bicyclist's having a good view of a car nearby does not always mean that the driver has an equally good view of the bicycle.
3) In a blind intersection, many cars deliberately overshoot the stop line to gain a clear sight of the traversing traffic.

  Accidents involving bicycles vary widely according to where they occur and what human errors are committed prior to the accident. Reported below is the analysis of bicycle accidents in relation to the parts of the road and the errors made by bicyclists and car drivers.
2. Bicycle Accidents and Running Areas
  Analyzing 293 bicycle accidents investigated over the past nine years, ITARDA has obtained some interesting results (Figure 3). This graph shows accident frequency according to the parts of the road where bicycles had been running immediately before they encountered an accident.

Fig.3 Accidents by Parts of Road

  (1) 22% of Bicycle Accidents on Crosswalks
- Proceed slowly in the bicycle section of the crosswalk -
  Of the total 293 bicycle accidents, 75% occurred on roadways. The second most numerous were 22% on crosswalks. Bicyclists are required to get off their bikes and walk in crosswalks. This is because it is dangerous to pedal through a crosswalk when the car drivers are focusing attention mostly, if not only, to the pedestrians in the crosswalk.Accidents that occurred at sidewalks are reported in Figure 4 in relation to vehicle courses at an intersection with traffic lights. Of the total 48 relevant accidents, by far the most frequent were the 21 accidents between a bicycle in a crosswalk and a vehicle about to complete a right turn. The reason was presumably this: The driver paid the most attention to oncoming vehicles while the bicyclist took it for granted that a green light means his right of way and that the driver would first let pass the pedestrians and bicyclists in the crosswalk. Accordingly, it is important that drivers about to make a right and bicyclists both be fully alert at crosswalks.

Fig.4 Bicycle Accidents in Crosswalks at Intersection with Traffic Lights

  (2) 32% of Accidents by Bicycles from Sidewalks
- Bicyclists: Watch out for nearside vehicles about to make a left -
- Drivers: Watch out for bicycles crossing from the left corner -
  As reported in Figure 1, 32% of bicycle accidents involved bicycles that were running on a sidewalk just before an accident. Specifically, a majority of these accidents occurred when bicycles were in transition from a sidewalk to a crosswalk. Running on a sidewalk, bicyclists are tempted to feel safe because of separation from bigger and heavier automobiles, but there are spots in the sidewalk where bicycles must mingle with automobiles, such as end areas leading to an intersection and driveway areas traversing the sidewalk from a building.
  Shown in Figure 5 are the classification of accidents between an automobile and a bicycle that proceeded straight from a sidewalk and entered into an intersection. Of the total 16 accidents, which were classified according to relative positions and courses of progress, the most frequent 13 accidents involved collisions between a bicycle (progressing straight from sidewalk to intersection) and an automobile (situated on the right side of the bicycle and starting to make a left turn).The critical location of bicycles is indicated by circle A in Figure 5. Since the second most frequent were only two cases, the 13 cases signify that circle A is a high-risk accident area when a bicycle is trying to cross in front of an automobile at an intersection. The reason for the high risk may be this: When trying to make a left, the car driver directs the most attention to the traffic from the right, so that attention to the left tends to become scant. As circle A is on the left of the driver, he is more liable to notice the bicyclist in circle A.

Fig.5 Bicycle Accidents According to Crossing Positions


Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA)