When it comes to sharing the road with cars, many people seem to assume that such accidents are usually the cyclist’s fault — a result of reckless or aggressive riding. But an analysis of police reports on 2,752 bike-car accidents in Toronto found that clumsy or inattentive driving by motorists was the cause of 90 percent of these crashes. Among the leading causes: running a stop sign or traffic light, turning into a cyclist’s path, or opening a door on a biker. This shouldn’t come as too big a surprise: motorists cause roughly 75 percent of motorcycle crashes too.
This data, from David Tomlinson in Toronto, analyzed 2,572 cyclist/motorist collisions from 1997-1998 and found that cyclists were at fault less than 10% of the time.
The Project Freeride site also shows data that illustrates cyclists safety in numbers. This figure depicting cycling ridership in the Netherlands from 1980-1998 shows a huge correlation between increased ridership and fewer fatal accidents.
A 30% increase in cycle traffic is associated with a two- third reduction in risk, e.g. a decrease of the total number of fatal cycling accidents