A new website documenting bicycle crashes in the city of Tucson launched this week and breaks down the most common types of crashes, where they happen most frequently and the time of day that is the most dangerous.
Bikecolli.info was created by computer programmer and Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee member Colin Forbes.
Forbes, who also operates the bikecolli twitter account, got involved with the BAC and tracking crash reports after he read about an incident in which a Tucson cyclist was hit with a bat and the police wouldn’t do anything despite the cyclist having the vehicle’s liscence plate number.
Forbes said the BAC’s response to accusations that the Tucson Police were biased against cyclists was only anecdotal so the BAC decided to start analyzing crash reports to determine if there was a bias by police officers.
Forbes said while looking to see if there was a bias in the reports, he acquired a mountain of data about crashes in Tucson that he started organizing and analyzing.
“I got caught up by the illusion that if maybe I had one more data point, I could unravel it and make sense of it all,” he said.
The site contains crash data for the City of Tucson as far back as 2007, but he said there are some big gaps in 2010 and 2011. The BAC is working with the city and county to get them to release the reports and waive the fees for the reports.
Forbes said the site is in its first phase and he has plans to break the data down even further.
Currently, though, the front page of the site consists of the information Forbes said he would want to communicate to a cyclist he was riding with for 60 seconds.
Here is the info Forbes found most surprising:
Riding the wrong way on the sidewalk is the most dangerous thing a cyclist can do. “If you stop that particular behavior almost 30 percent of the crashes go away,” Forbes said.
Monday has the lowest crash rate of any weekday. Forbes said he thinks it could be because federal holidays fall on Mondays, which would mean there is less traffic on those days. He said that is only a gut feeling and he has no way of backing that up.
Other interesting findings from the analysis:
- 22.9% of crashes are right-turning vehicle/wrongway cyclist
- 16.9% of crashes are crosswalk/intersection crashes
- 13.4% of crashes are left hook crashes
- 12.6% of crashes are right hook crashes
- The worst area in town in terms of bicycle collisions is 6th Avenue and Congress Street.
- The worst intersection is Grant Road and Alvernon Road
- There are more crashes in the spring and fall
- There are fewer crashes on weekends than weekdays
- Most crashes occur between 3 and 6 p.m.
Forbes said sifting through all the crash data actually makes him feel safer riding his bike around town because he knows what to watch out for and how to ride in ways that make him safe.
Be sure to check out the website and look for updates to the data.