Bicyclists, drivers equally at-fault for Minneapolis crashes - KMSP-TV

Bicyclists, drivers equally at-fault for Minneapolis crashes

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

A city of Minneapolis report on bicycle crashes and safety shows bicyclists and drivers are equally to blame for the cause of crashes in the city.

Nearly 3,000 bicycle-vehicle crash records from 2000 to 2010 were examined by Minneapolis Public Works for the report, titled Understanding Bicyclist-Motorists Crashes in Minneapolis. Crash information was analyzed and mapped from Minnesota Department of Public Safety accident reports. The report drew three primary conclusions from the data:

1. Most crashes occur at intersections along major arterials.

2. Drivers are not seeing or yielding to bicyclists.

3. Bicyclists are not riding in a predictable manner.

MORE BICYCLISTS, BUT FEWER CRASHES

Some good news from the report: while bicycle commuters have increased over the past five years in Minneapolis, the number of bicycle-vehicle crashes have remained relatively flat.

OTHER KEY FINDINGS

- An average of 270 bicyclist-motorist crashes occur annually in Minneapolis. This is down from an average of 320 from 1993-1999.

- Crashes are most prevalent from April-October (88.3 percent), on weekdays (79.3 percent) and during the afternoon peak period from 3:00-6:00 p.m. (28.5 percent).

- Crashes mostly occur on clear or cloudy days (93.5 percent), when the road surface is dry (89.1 percent) and during daylight hours (72.7 percent).

- Most (93.5 percent) crashes involve bicycles and automobiles. Large trucks, buses, taxis and other vehicles make up the remaining vehicle types.

- Approximately one out of five crashes are hit-and-runs, with the motorist fleeing the scene 93.3 percent of the time. Motorist condition is unknown in these cases.

- Bicyclists sustained an injury in 87.0 percent of crashes. It is estimated that motorists sustained an injury in no crashes.

- There were 12 bicyclist fatalities from 2000-2010. All cases involved at least one of the three following attributes: rain or wet pavement, aggressive or impaired motorist, or a large motor vehicle.

- Bicyclists are estimated to have contributing factors in 59.0 percent of crashes and motorists in 63.9 percent of crashes. The totals exceed 100 percent as both parties have contributing factors.

- The most common contributing factors for bicyclists are failure to yield right-of-way (13.3 percent), disregarding a traffic control device (12.6 percent) and improper lane use (9.2 percent).

- The most common contributing factors for motorists are failure to yield right-of-way (31.8 percent), driver inattentive or distracted (8.5 percent) and improper lane use (5.2 percent).

FACTS FOR THE FUTURE

The city plans to use these findings to build on its current efforts to improve the safety of bicyclists in Minneapolis, and in the design of roadways and new bicycle facilities.

You can read the full report at www.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles

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