New research out describes how separate bike transit ways can reduce bike deaths. (Read the full news coverage here.) Some striking statistics from this story:
- about 51,000 American cyclists suffered injuries as a result of encounters with motor vehicles in 2009, with such accidents accounting for two percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States (according to 2008 figures).
- In the U.S, bike lanes typically consist of merely a painted stripe on the pavement delineating cyclists' portion of the road. In contrast, the Netherlands -- a country half the size of South Carolina, with just under 17 million residents -- is home to about 18,000 miles of separate cycle tracks.
- While more than a quarter of all Dutch commuters get around by bike and 55 percent of Dutch cyclists are women, in the U.S. less than one-half of 1 percent of Americans ride a bike to work and fewer than one-quarter of those riders are women.
- Cycle injury rates are at least 26 times higher in the U.S. than in the Netherlands, the researchers noted.
- The research team pegged the overall relative risk of injury as 28 percent lower on the separated tracks versus biking on a street in traffic.