What We Learned From the City's 2010 Pedestrian and Cyclist Collision Data

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What We Learned From the City’s 2010 Pedestrian and Cyclist Collision Data


On May 13, the City’s Transportation Services division released citywide pedestrian and cyclist auto collision numbers from 2010. The data, collected from police reports, covers January to September of that year. (Get the numbers in full at the very bottom of the Transportation Services website.)
Here are some takeaways:


Pedestrians had the worst of it. The number of cyclists reported as being injured by cars during the nine-month study period was 904, while the number of pedestrians reported as injured during that same period was 1,379. We’re guessing this is because more Torontonians own pairs of legs than own bicycles.
Drivers were frequently, but not always, at fault. Most reported collisions during the study period happened in instances where the driver was allegedly inattentive or disobeying one or more rules of the road. But a significant percentage of accidents on record occurred when the person behind the wheel was “driving properly”—311 out of a total 1,035, on the cycling side of things. The only recorded car-on-bike fatality during the study period happened in a situation where the cyclist was allegedly at fault.
The most common type of reported car-on-bike collision was the sideswipe. Sideswipes were recorded 164 times during the study period. But don’t fret, door-prize aficionados: colliding with an opening car door was the second most frequent collision type, with 144 recorded occurrences. (This doesn’t necessarily mean that doorings are really so infrequent. These numbers are based on police data and wouldn’t reflect any accidents that weren’t reported.)
Toronto had the most per-capita recorded car-on-bike collisions of any major Canadian city. On average, over the five years leading up to and including 2010, Toronto’s cyclist collisions registered at 42 for every 100,000 residents. The only other Canadian city that came close was Montreal, with 38. The same was true of pedestrian collisions. Toronto had 78 reported for every 100,000 residents. Montreal had 71.
The most dangerous day of the week for cyclists? Tuesday. During the study period, Tuesday was the day of week with the most recorded car-on-bike collisions. Damn you, Tuesday.

CORRECTION: May 25, 1:19 AM This post originally misstated the period of time for which per-capita collisions were calculated by the City. They were based on five-year averages, not only numbers from 2010.

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