Running way late getting started on the post, Wreck-Free Sunday

I had to work today (more wrenching for the camping trip as I have a number of bikes that never see the light of day except when they go camping, which usually means replacing rock-hard brake blocks, lubing chains and pumping tires that haven’t been filled in 6 months or more. These bikes will be used to transport people from one end of the 101 acre camp site to the other as there is about a half mile from Refugee Camp in the back to Guardians’ Camp at the front of the camping area, which is quite a haul if you’re in a hurry. Even at just $10 per bike if you do enough bikes you can pay for your trip…

Something I have been wanting to discuss with you for a while is the guns vs cars comparison. You would have to be living under a rock with your fingers in your ears to not know that there have been a few million words flying back and forth in the gun debate, about who should own one and what hoops they should be made to jump through to buy more, and how many bullets you should be allowed to carry. That’s all well and good, but a gun is only 0.45% fatal average for every time the trigger is pulled in anger with only 1 in 20 bullets actually hitting someone, and 1 in 11 bullets that hit someone actually causing death. Motor vehicles on the other hand are 5% fatal against unarmored targets (pedestrians and cyclists) when traveling at 20 MPH. But up the speed to just 30 MPH (the statutory minimum speed limit in the state of Texas) and the death toll rises to 50% of cyclists and pedestrians. Interestingly enough from what limited data I have been able to find salmon cyclists are killed at a rate consistent with combined bike and motor vehicle speed, while the rest of us are killed independently of the cyclist’s speed and entirely dependent on the speed of the weapon vehicle. If you think about it it makes some sense, but it would be nice to have more bike speed equal less danger for the struck cyclist, if for nothing else as a reward for the effort expended… :P

Anyway, getting back to cars vs guns, cars have a slight edge in deaths with 30K gun deaths vs 36K killed by motor vehicles last year. The number one killer of adults under 35 is motor vehicles, guns are not far behind though with gun deaths spread pretty evenly across the age groups while motor vehicle deaths concentrate near the young end of the range. This points out that not everyone killed in a car is driving it, or even inside the motor vehicle. Many killed by motor vehicles are walking or riding bicycles, or not anywhere near a street or road inside a building. Yep, several people every year are killed inside buildings by motor vehicles crashing from adjacent streets and highways. There is a good reason why I call motor vehicles WMD used as transportation…

And this is where I feel I should stop this post, that I have made my point and any further exposition is flogging a deceased equine.

PSA, Opus

2 responses to “Running way late getting started on the post, Wreck-Free Sunday

  1. If you separate out the hit from behind, that should be car speed – bicycle speed, with the rest being crossing accidents dependent upon car speed.

    • Opus the Poet

      Logically one would think that when hit from behind the reduction in force from the rider’s forward motion would reduce the number of fatalities, but it doesn’t work that way. I’m not sure of the exact mechanism but what I think is the problem is after the initial contact with the motor vehicle the rider now has accelerated to the speed of the motor vehicle and then suffers damage from secondary impacts after the contact with the motor vehicle just as he would from having a lower speed at initial contact, or more simply he gets hurt just as bad from running into the stuff on the side of the road no matter how fast he was going before the impact.

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