Cycling in Auckland getting safer

Door ZoneAs cycle numbers rise, safety for each individual cyclist gets better. This is the well-documented (but less well understood) “safety in numbers” effect.

We think that it is mainly caused by motorists being more aware that cyclists are about, and treating them better.

Safety statistics over the last 3 years (2012, 2011, 2010) are now showing that cycling safety seems to indeed have gotten better during these years of growth. Now, 3 years of stats are not quite a perfectly stable basis to draw conclusions from (which is partly visible from the still relatively strong fluctuations). But Auckland Transport’s Business Report in July notes that:

Confirmation of the 2012 fatal and serious injury cycle statistics for Auckland have confirmed a significant reduction of 64% when compared to 2011 and a 48% reduction compared to the 2010 crash statistics.

Further assessment of the statistics and trends will be used to enhance the integrated infrastructure, educational and promotional activities for 2013 and 2014.

It is unclear whether these reduced injury stats are for absolute numbers of injuries (which would make the results even better), or whether they are somehow factored to account for the increased cyclist numbers (which would mean they would still be as valid – as they would still imply a great reduction in individual risk). What is your opinion – has it gotten safer, or are things the same, and this is just a statistical fluke?

In either case, lets work on making sure that injury stats and cycle numbers continue to improve.

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