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Dmytry comments on How to avoid dying in a car crash - Less Wrong

76 Post author: michaelcurzi 17 March 2012 07:44PM

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Comment author: Dmytry 17 March 2012 09:33:41PM *  1 point [-]

I propose some amount of recreational bicycling. That'll strongly condition you not to take eyes off road (or at least it is the case for me due to damaged sense of balance and me having to look to keep bicycle upright).

Comment author: taw 17 March 2012 10:04:44PM 4 points [-]

I used to cycle a lot, and I had no doubts whatsoever this drastically increases my chance of dying early, or suffering other horrible accident. There are health benefits due to regular physical activity (and attractiveness and energy level benefits), but they probably don't come anywhere near matching increased risk of death due to drivers completely disregarding cyclists' safety.

Comment author: matt 19 March 2012 06:54:16PM *  2 points [-]

If you're travelling a fixed distance, be very wary of cycling (and walking).

Some numbers:

 Casualty rate per 100 million
Casualties Occupant/ Occupant/ Occupant/
rider trips rider km rider hours
Killed
Pedal cycle 227 12.5 4.6 64
Walk 1753 7.0 6.6 27
Motorcycle 670 122 11.4 342
Car 2142 5.2 0.4 12.4
Bus and Coach 17 0.4 0.06 1.4
Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI)
Pedal cycle 4879 268 98 1377
Walk 17880 72 68 279
Motorcycle 12654 2311 215 6461
Car 29346 71 5.7 170
Bus and coach 892 14 2 51

Source: http://www.swov.nl/rapport/promising/wp5final.pdf which quotes Transport Statistics Great Britain 1979-1989

(If you're otherwise unhealthy and this is the only exercise you'd give yourself, you may still be better off. If you can make yourself do other exercise, please do.)

And if you thought you'd get away with walking by staying mostly not alongside traffic:

Table 2: estimated casualty risk, relative to crossing a street
Travel mode Distance travelled for casualty risk equivalent
to one road crossing
Walking alongside traffic, UK 160 metres
All walking, UK 210 metres
Road vehicle passenger, Australia 6,300 metres

Source: http://grapevine.net.au/~mccluskeyarundell/Ped_casualty.pdf

Comment author: FiftyTwo 02 May 2012 03:33:07AM 1 point [-]

The scale of the benefits of buses is pretty dramatic.Based on that it seems rational to take buses whenever possible (unless I'm missing something).

Comment author: khafra 02 May 2012 03:00:26PM 4 points [-]

Here in Tampa Bay, my commute by car usually takes about 25 minutes. Google says that, by bus, it would take around 2 hours. Commute time has a huge effect on quality of life. So, I probably wouldn't gain and quality-adjusted life years by switching to bus.

Comment author: waveman 28 February 2014 12:31:36PM 2 points [-]

I also noticed when I was managing large numbers of people that people who used public transportation seemed to get a lot more (~double) the number of illnesses. When they bought a car, their sickness rates went down.

I found the same thing myself when I switched.

However as this is a politically fraught topic, good studies seem to be scarce.

Comment author: Dmytry 19 March 2012 07:28:01PM 1 point [-]

It'd be great to get same data, but without highway fatalities at long trips.

Comment author: [deleted] 17 March 2012 11:43:37PM 3 points [-]

There are health benefits due to regular physical activity (and attractiveness and energy level benefits), but they probably don't come anywhere near matching increased risk of death due to drivers completely disregarding cyclists' safety.

An article in an Italian magazine I've read claims a study found the reverse. Among the 181 thousand subscribers of Barcelona's bike sharing service (11% of the population), who cycled in average 3.29 km a day during weekdays and 4.15 km a day during weekends, there appear to be 0.03 more deaths per year (than among the same number of car drivers) from traffic accidents and 0.13 more deaths per year from air pollution but 12.46 fewer deaths per year from sedentary lifestyle. (Plus, cycling instead of driving itself reduces pollution, which affects everybody's death rate, so even if your point is to decrease your own chance of dying there still can be superrational reasons to do that.)

Comment author: Dmytry 17 March 2012 10:07:32PM *  0 points [-]

Then cycle in a safer place. (I agree btw about the drivers).

Comment author: taw 17 March 2012 11:16:43PM 3 points [-]

Unless you're suggesting stationary bike, it's hard to find a safer place in the middle of London.

Comment author: David_Gerard 17 March 2012 11:51:27PM -1 points [-]

Not to mention the enormous quantities of crap you'll inhale cycling in the street in London. (Anecdotal evidence from friends who've done it, complete with black snot.)

Comment author: taw 17 March 2012 11:56:36PM 0 points [-]

I've never really notice that, how long ago is your anecdotal evidence from?

Comment author: David_Gerard 18 March 2012 09:31:27AM 0 points [-]

About nine or ten years ago. The hanky in question was a notably foul sight.