But… 15 pedestrians injured by cars for every one hurt by a bike. Over 300 pedestrians are killed by cars for every one killed by a bicycle.
A recently released study finds about 1,000 pedestrians are injured each year in collisions with cyclists in the state of New York.
The research by Hunter College Professors Peter Tuckel and William Milczarski analyzed treatment data from all New York hospitals to count everybody treated for injuries after a collision with a bike. The study was funded by the Stuart C. Gruskin Family Foundation, which was established to encourage bicycle safety after Mr Gruskin was killed by a wrong-way cyclist.
The researchers used hospital data from New York State Department of Health to analyze inpatient and outpatient treatment from 2007 to 2010. Almost all of the 1,000 pedestrians treated were outpatient. Injured pedestrians are a little more likely to be male, and older walkers are a little more likely to need inpatient care. 55% of all patients were in New York City. In four years, three pedestrians have died after a collision with a bicycle. 1200 pedestrians have died after a collision with cars in the same time frame.
According to the study authors, previous estimates show only 1,000 pedestrian injuries nationwide. The actual pedestrian/cyclist crash rate is undercounted, as the study only counts those who visit a hospital for treatment. Anecdotally, the great majority of those involved probably brush it off and go on their way.
In spite of fears by the Gruskin Foundation that more bikes in New York streets will result in more pedestrian fatalities, the numbers have actually declined by a modest amount even as the number of cyclists has dramatically risen.
Tuckel and Milczarski’s study concludes “that government and public health officials need to pay more attention to” bicycle-vs-pedestrian safety. By comparison, over 300 pedestrians die each year and 15,000+ are injured in New York state from motor vehicle collisions. Moreover, the number of “serious” injuries — defined as “skull fractures, internal injuries, broken or distorted limbs, unconsciousness, and severe lacerations” — caused by motor vehicles is double the total injuries to pedestrians in bicycle collisions.