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Fatter Pedestrians Are Safer, Taxis Are Scourge for Cyclists: Study

Wednesday, April 03, 2013 - 04:37 PM

And yet. (Kate Hinds)

Audio Interview:

NYU Langone Medical Center surveyed more than 1,400 pedestrians and cyclists who were admitted to Bellevue Hospital between 2008 and 2011 and gleaned some insight into pedestrian crashes.

So rather than using police reports, the team at NYU surveyed the people who were injured and passed through this hospital to find out more circumstantial details of the crashes. (But it also means people who were hit but didn't go to the hospital, or people who were killed, aren't in the study.)

Here are some other findings:

  • Young, walking adults are the group most frequently injured by motor vehicles in this study
  • Latino bicycle delivery men are especially vulnerable even though they are more likely to wear a helmet
  • 44% of pedestrians were hit while crossing the street in the crosswalk
  • 6% of people who were hit by cars were on the sidewalk
  • 15% of pedestrians had consumed alcohol earlier
  • 40% of cyclists and 25% percent of pedestrians hit were struck by taxis
  • 43% of the cyclists injured were working, mostly delivery men.
  • 21% of cyclist hit were in a bike lane at the time
  • 15% of cyclists injured were doored
  • Less than a third of cyclists in the study were wearing helmets
  • Being obese reduced the likelihood of injury

So what are pedestrians to do? The study recommends separating traffic from bodies -- as in more bike lanes and more pedestrian plazas.

The study is behind a paywall, but you can read the abstract here.

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