The Bike Is Safe In Vitoria, But We Need Education: Part 2

Causes of accidents involving cyclists

On the other hand, the circulation of bicycles on sidewalks and pedestrian areas brings problems. When crosswalks are crossed by bike at high speeds, the driver can face a situation . Not expected or can foresee, and run over a cyclist at the crossroads This situation has arisen in Vitoria too often:

Main causes of accidents involving cyclists in Vitoria, 2008-2011. Incorrect behavior in accidents with cyclists as road type, Vitoria, 2008-2011

The cyclists riding on the sidewalk are not only annoying and potentially dangerous for pedestrians: they are also for themselves. As we see, in the best year 23% of accidents are caused  cyclists incorrect behavior in crossing crosswalks or cyclists, second leading cause after sloppiness cyclist himself. The next cause is the incorrect behavior of the vehicle in a pedestrian / cyclist or sidewalk intersection.

In a zebra crossing, even if accompanying a bike lane, the rider should reduce speed to a pedestrian, even stop if necessary, and cross at pedestrian speed. If you do not want to slow it down, the rider can always join the driveway. What can not be is that a cyclist cross a zebra crossing speed cycling: we insist, drivers and expect it not have time to react.

And of course cyclists, although we do not like to say, they are also largely responsible for their own accident.

Causing accidents according to the police report

Here’s surprise. Yes, motor vehicles cause a very significant proportion of accidents, but not most.

Causing claims with cyclists involved as police report, Vitoria, 2008-2011

In all the years are cyclists the main causes of accidents, according to police reports indicate. We must promote the use of cycling, but also to be made wisely.

The advice would be to start by awareness campaigns to remove fears of driving on the road and give general information to cyclists, and after a reasonable time to start fining cyclists who persist in driving on the sidewalk. Cyclists also have obligations! the City and Vitoria cycling associations are doing a good job of awareness, but in view of the data, there is still a way to go.

Consequences of accidents cyclists

The study takes into account only the damage suffered by cyclists themselves, which I do not know if it is because there is no damage to third parties (run over pedestrians) or that is not the object of the study. In addition, the figures reported in the total number of accidents match the total count cyclists (adding all types), which means that the number of accidents is identified with total accident victims.

In other words, for this study a bicycle accident involving one injured person, by focusing on the consequences for cyclists and not where cyclists or pedestrians may cause to third parties.

Forecast injuries in cycling accidents in Vitoria, 2008-2011

First, there is a large number of unknowns.  The study indicates that in such cases , “the police report does not include a forecast of injury”. We can assume that in these cases did not need medical intervention; otherwise it is expected that the local police, author of the crowded, had indicated the circumstances. Still, most of the accidents that has itself become a doctor missing or have been with mild unhurt. If we accept strangers as uninjured / mild, they are the vast majority.

Evolution forecast of cyclists injured in Vitoria, 2008-2011

Grouped uninjured with strangers, the chart takes another look. If we accept this, during the whole period 2008-11  the 60,60% of the accidents did not require medical care for the cyclist, 36.68% were mild, only 2.72% were severe and resulted in a 0% death.


The truth is that I would like to know what the consequences for pedestrians run over by bicycles are.  If we dig a little in memory of the local police, we can find evidence of what happened in 2011 and 2012, but does not say how many outrages victims It is due to bicycles throughout the period.

In 2012, it indicated that there were 39 violations caused by bicycles, which were 26 victims. So, in that year , two – thirds (66.67%) of the violations reported and caused injuries caused by bicycle, but ignore how gravity. It is a significant figure (21.14% of all victims of abuse) and therefore it is cause for concern.

Result of total accidents

The police force of Vitoria publishes an activity report accidents that have attended in the city and the number of victims: for example, this is 2012.  It also found data on the evolution of accidents in the city of Vitoria in recent years. According to these data, in the same period a total of 18,187 accidents to the local police were reported; this means that accidents involving cyclists represent 3.84% of the total  for the period 2008-2011.

Traffic accidents in the city of Vitoria, 1988-2012

Compare the consequences of cycling accidents to the total is more complicated because the local police not distinguish minor injuries serious. Just to 2012 there is this difference:

Accident victims crowded in Vitoria in 2012, according to condition and consequences

With this data it is not possible to establish the usual comparison + dead serious injuries we have used in other entries. For 2011 we have a general breakdown of accident (broken), and for 2012 do not have a breakdown of cycling accidents. Types would be desirable to have partners in both studies to draw conclusions.


  • Bike use is on the rise in Vitoria: 2.65% 2006 8.9% goes to the modal split in 2011.
  • In 2011, the percentage of crowded bike accident is 5.94%;Local Police writes less crowded with bicycles, in proportion, than those relating to its modal split (ratio 0.86, or 14% less).
  • Most accidents occur cyclists intervention (not cause) of other motor vehicles (≥69%).
  • Similarly, most occur in sidewalk or pedestrian space (≥52%)
    • Very prominent are those that occur when a cyclist improperly crossing a zebra crossing: between 17% and 22% of the total answer to this typology.
  • Most accidents (53% -65%) are caused by the cyclist himself,between 32% and 42% caused the motor vehicle.
    • In this regard, along with driving on sidewalks, it is worrying that in 2012 had 39 violations caused by bicycles pedestrians, 21.14% of the total reported.
  • Despite all this, the vast majority of accidents involving cyclists do not causes or consequences are mild, if we accept that strangers did not require medical care, the 60.60% of all accidents without consequence, 72% of the total they were serious and in no case were deceased.
    • Cyclists caused a significant percentage of the outrages pedestrians injured (21.14% in 2012, the only year for which data are available), but do not know its severity.
  • We lack some comparative data, and other correspond to different years, making it difficult to compare the consequences.


Although the cyclist accidents go upward in number of accidents without necessary bike accessories, complaints caused by cyclists are less than was predicted by modal split, and its consequences for the cyclist are generally mild or harmless. No data about its seriousness to others users (pedestrians).

However, there are concerns. We must emphasize the responsibilities of cyclists. Most accidents, according to police reports, are the responsibility of cyclists, and too many avoidable accidents occur in situations if the movement is correct.

Specifically, the movement of bikes on sidewalks can cause a significant number of assaults on pedestrians, and improper crossing crosswalks a remarkable proportion of outrages cyclists themselves.

In these situations, should think of strategies to take the rider to the road or spaces where it can run safely, whether separated or lanes. First education, and then, if necessary, fines or other coercive strategy.