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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2008-04-03 11:26
Subject: Usually it's the other way round
Security: Public
Cyclists often rightly complain that other road users don't always see them. This is a problem - a number of collisions occur when vehicles pull out or cut across in front of them.

But this case is different: Cyclist doesn't see stationary van.

nil nisi bonum and all that, but <cynical>I can only think that, the van being stopped at a pedestrian crossing, the cyclist was too intent on running the red light and knocking over a pedestrian or two ...</cynical>
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-04-03 13:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Simply that he managed to kill himself. There was enough energy in the collision to do so, and it was all in him. If he'd struck the pedestrian (who I presume to have existed, since the van was stopped), then even partitioning that energy equally, there could esily have been serious injury.

Assuming you are correct in your statement of statistics, we already know that such injuries do happen.
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User: mkillingworth
Date: 2008-04-03 20:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
flip from "death unlikely" to "death likely" between 20 and 30mph.

At the risk of sounding a bit pedantic, that's actually between 30 and 40mph. I used to be a firefighter/paramedic, so that's one of the things that I do know a bit about. I have also actually witnessed a couple of people being struck by cars. It's an amazing sight.
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Erik V. Olson
User: erikvolson
Date: 2008-04-04 14:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What kills you isn't the speed, it's the fall -- you can't curl up and protect the head/neck when you're on a bike -- you're wrapped around a frame. So, bike falls often end up with a direct impact of the head on pavement.

This is why you *must* wear a helmet when you're cycling. There are way to many accidents that end in "and then your head hits the ground from a five foot fall." Without some cushioning to reduce the acceleration, you get hurt, badly.

A helmet won't save you from all accidents -- if you get Kiefered1, you're probably toast regardless, but the vast majority of serious cycling accidents and deaths are because someone did something at moderate speed, the bike fell over, and they slammed their skull into the concrete or asphalt.

1) Kiefered. Getting hit by a large car at 60mph. RIP, Ken.

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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-04-04 14:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
But being hit suddenly and unexpectedly by a fast moving cyclist is also likely to knock you over. If you don't expect the impact (and the quietness of bikes is a problem in that area), then you don't have much reaction time.

It's also very unusual for pedestrians to wear helmets.
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