Safety in Numbers: It’s Happening in NYC

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The city’s expanding bike network is paying dividends — boosting the level of cycling and making streets safer in the process. Snagged from the latest issue of TA’s StreetBeat, this graph is a great illustration of the "safety in numbers" effect identified by researcher Peter Jacobsen in a landmark 2003 paper published in Injury Prevention. The stats in New York reinforce Jacobsen’s body of evidence that the more bicyclists and pedestrians are out on the street, the safer biking and walking become.

"Safety in numbers" also explains why the U.S. has such a high rate
of cyclist injuries and fatalities compared to countries like the
Netherlands and Denmark
, where biking is much more common. And it’s pretty much Exhibit A when it comes to proving the folly of "safety campaigns" like the one currently underway in Savannah, which Sarah wrote about in her post today. Fine pedestrians or otherwise discourage walking, and you only make streets less safe.

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