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Bike paths too narrow ?: Number of bicycle accidents is rising


            
              Friday, December 13, 2019
              
                

            
              Cycling has increased significantly in recent years, but the infrastructure is lagging behind. The fact that more and more cyclists are pushing for limited space is reflected in the accident statistics.
              On Germany's cycle paths, it is becoming increasingly narrow and dangerous with increasing popularity of bicycle and e-bike. The number of accidents caused by cyclists has risen sharply in recent years, as the accident researchers at Allianz have analyzed in a long-term comparison of the accident data of the Federal Statistical Office. What is particularly worthy of note is how much the number of cyclist collisions has increased. Accordingly, the number of accidents caused by cyclists increased by ten percent between 2011 and 2018, from a good 19,100 to almost 21,100. However, the number of accidents involving two participating cyclists increased by almost half: from 3837 to 5648. "One reason for this is probably that the existing cycle path network is no longer able to cope with the changes in cycle traffic," said accident researcher Jörg Kubitzki from the Allianz Center for Technology Cyclists frequently appear as casualties in accident statistics. In the first half of the year, for example, the number of cyclists killed decreased, in contrast to the general trend of falling death tolls on the roads. In total, nearly 89,000 people in Germany crashed on wheels in 2018. According to the police, almost two-thirds of these accidents were caused by "driver misbehavior" – with drivers in this statistic referring to cyclists. However, the single accidents are also counted, in which there are no other participants. In collisions with cars, the picture is different: here, in only a quarter of the cases, cyclists were the main cause. The most common cause of bicycle accidents was incorrect road use. Around 12,400 people were injured, for example because cyclists were traveling on the wrong side of the street or on the sidewalk. At a considerable distance, the statistics are followed by other causes of accidents, such as errors during turning off or off, infringements of the right of way or unadapted speed. Driving under the influence of alcohol led to crash in about 3600 cases.

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