Cycle Accident Research
Summary of Aultman-Hall Studies on Sidewalk and Bike Path Cycling
- Aultman-Hall, L., Safety Issues concerning Sidewalk Bicycling,
presented to the Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference,
Toronto June 1997
- Aultmann-Hall, L. & Adams, M.F. (1998). Sidewalk bicycling safety issues. Transportation Research Record, 1636, 71-76
(presented to the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., January 1998)
- Aultman-Hall, L., and Hall F. L., Ottawa-Carleton Commuter Cyclist
On and Off-Road Incident Rates", 1998, Accident Analysis & Prevention,
vol 30 No 1 Pages 29-43
- Aultman-Hall, L. and Kaltenecker M.G.,Toronto bicycle commuter safety rates. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 31, 675-686 (presented to the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., January 1998)
Approximately 3,000 cyclists were surveyed (about 53% in Ottawa).
Cyclist accidents (collisions, falls and injures) by facility (roads,
sidewalks, and paths/trails) are analyzed and accident rates by
exposure (per kilometre) on each facility type are compared.
For falls and injuries, the lowest rates were recorded on road, followed
by paths/trails. Sidewalk cycling had the highest rates. There was no
significant differences for collisions on sidewalks in Ottawa but
were higher on sidewalks and paths in Toronto. For Ottawa, both the fall
rate and injury rate on sidewalks were four times higher than on roads.
In Toronto, 9 and 6.4 times higher respectively.
The authors also compared rates for road cyclists and sidewalk cyclists
on-road vs paths/trails. A sidewalk cyclist was defined as one who cycled
on the sidewalk for any part of a commute. Sidewalk cyclists incurred
higher accident rates than road cyclists on both roads and paths - this
is attributed to their being less skilled. The data also shows both
road and sidewalk cyclists have higher accident rates on paths/trails.
Some interesting facts and figures emerged for sidewalk cyclists. Don't
forget, these are commuters.
- collided with cyclists more than they did with pedestrians
- had higher rates of helmet use
- were less likely to make a left turn from the left lane
- were more likely to avoid busy streets when an alternative existed
- were less likely to be a member of a club or to have taken a
- cycled on sidewalks 14% of their commute (Ottawa) and 9% (Toronto)
- cycled on sidewalks 6.7% of their travel adjacent to roads with bicycle
lanes and 6.9% adjacent to roads marked as bike route (both Toronto)
- cycled fewer kms annually but had been cycling longer
Aultman-Hall concludes that sidewalk cyclists need to be trained rather
than being simply told to cease cycling on sidewalks. The fact helmet
use is higher but vehicular cycling skills lower suggests that the
relentless helmet use sloganeering may have obscured the message on
the need for training.
January 1999 |
Return to: Home