Evaluating the risk that cyclists and pedestrians take on the road, is up until now, a mere extrapolation. There is much information missing in order to understand what just began. But, although there is no systematized data, it’s not hard to conclude that those who chose soft mobility will always be more vulnerable.
Rui Esteves, director of statistic and technical studies at Fidelidade, presented at the Road Safety Sessions estimates based on a survey made to pedestrians and bicycle users. When you take into account kilometers traveled, the risk for the cyclist is eight times higher than that of the car driver. Taking into account the hours spent in traffic, that danger triples compared with pedestrians and drivers.
Although, the exposition to risk cannot be evaluated only using isolated realities. Business volume, distances or time spent on trips are some of the necessary data to determine the exposition to risk. Taking a bicycle will always be more dangerous than driving a car.
This is a given fact, but the phenomenon will only be completely understood when contextualized: “We need to gather information that will allow us to know which is the safer mean of transportation when we want to travel from one city to the other or from one place to the other, but there are still no metrics nor comparisons that can be used”
When you take into account the kilometers traveled, the risk for the cyclist is eight times bigger than that of the car driver. But, taking into account the hours spent in traffic, that danger triples compared with pedestrians and drivers.
Also, data regarding scooter use and accidents are even more scarse, although Fidelidade specialist believes that the danger is as big as with cyclists. The good news is that the probability of accidents in the soft mobility is decreasing while the use of it in urban mobility is increasing.
The infrastructures are better prepared, people are learning how to live with bicycles and the safety culture is entering peoples’ behaviors. “That is what happened in countries that already use bicycles for several decades”, explains Rui Esteves, pointing out that examples such as The Netherlands, Berlin or Finland are great opportunities for learning. Learning from mistakes, it’s actually what the civil aviation has been doing for a long time in order to correct the mistakes. That should also be the logic applied in road accidents, defends Fidelidade specialist.
Kátia Catulo | Text
Gonçalo Villaverde / Global Images | Photograph