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Monday, July 30, 2012

When do cyclists crash? [GRID Chicago]


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Chart 1. The chart above shows the hourly activity of aggregated reported crashes in Illinois in 2010. It shows the hour of the day, that, throughout the year, saw the most injuries and fatalities. 
This post is fourth in a series on crash data sponsored by Jim Freeman, a Chicago lawyer specializing in pedestrian and bicycle crashes. Read the other posts in this series.
The League of Illinois Bicyclists (LIB) recently posted a link on its Facebook page to an event in August called “Designing for Bicycle Safety”, hosted by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). A person commented,
We can design for bike safety until we are blue in the face, but unless bicyclists come to their senses and buy lights and reflective clothing for riding after dark – there will continue to be needless rider deaths and incapacitating injuries. I believe this needs to be top priority in rider awareness education.
Safer infrastructure should be the top priority in all things bicycling, and when it comes to reducing crashes at night, we agree that encouraging cyclists to use lights at night is important (Get Lit!). I wanted to know just how many crashes occur at each hour of the day. As is usual when it comes to bike crash data crunching, it takes longer than I originally thought or planned to get the full answer. In essence, though, the majority of crashes and injuries occur during “evening rush hour” while the majority of fatalities, while very small, occurred at night.

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