How Safe Is Cycling?

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 4 2011 @ 4:53pm

Thomas Krag weighs the risks of walking, biking, and driving. Phil of Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science summarizes:

[I]t's misleading, to the point of being wrong in most contexts, to compare the safety of walking vs cycling vs driving by looking at the casualty or fatality rate per kilometer. Often, as in this article, the question of interest is something like, if more people switched from driving to cycling, how many more or fewer people would die? Obviously, if people give up their cars, they will travel a lot fewer kilometers! According to the article, in Denmark in 1992 (!), cycling was about 3x as dangerous per kilometer as driving, but was essentially equally safe per hour and somewhat safer per trip.