We worked with the City of Vancouver to develop comprehensive and objective review of the safety of cycling within the city. The study included one of the most comprehensive analyses of cycling collisions and injuries that has been conducted to date in North America. The study involved an in-depth analysis of all collisions reported to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) involving bicycle users and motor vehicles in the City of Vancouver between 2007 and 2012. In addition, the study analyzed the injury data from bicycling crashes that resulted in treatment at a hospital emergency room in Vancouver in 2008 and 2009 from the Bicyclists’ Injuries and Cycling Environment (BICE) study conducted through the University of British Columbia Cycling and Cities program. Based on these datasets, the analysis examined WHERE reported cycling collisions and injury crashes took place, HOW they occurred, WHEN they took place, and WHO was involved.
Some key findings of the study included:
- Vancouver is already a safe cycling city, with one of the lowest cycling fatality rates among cities across Canada and internationally
- Cycling safety has been improving in Vancouver as the rate of cycling collisions has steadily declined over the past fifteen years along with an increase in bicycle trips
- Where right-of-way could be determined (approximately 50% of all collisions), cyclists had the right-of-way in 93% of cases
- The most common types of cycling collisions were due to: doorings (15% of all cycling collisions), right turning vehicles (13%), left turning vehicles (13%), and conflict zones such as driveways, lanes, etc (11%). Sidewalk cycling also accounted for 6% of all collisions.
- Most cycling injuries were not a result of a crash with a motor vehicle (only 38% of all injuries). The majority of cycling injuries (62%) were a result of factors such as a fall to avoid a motor vehicle collision; collision with another cyclist, pedestrian, or animal; collision with surface features or infrastructure; or just a fall.
By having a deeper understanding of the characteristics of cycling collisions and injuries in Vancouver, a more focused approach can be taken to improve cycling safety for people of all ages and abilities. The study identified twelve key issues and included a comprehensive action plan to address each key issue based on a range of engineering, education, and enforcement measures. By identifying the areas and cyclists most at risk for collisions and matching them with the most appropriate engineering, enforcement and education measures, the City, in collaboration with the Vancouver Police Department, local hospitals, and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, can allocate resources accordingly and be more effective at improving cycling safety.