Norwegian Centre: More Cyclists = Safer Cycling


The more cyclists on the road, the safer for all of them. A new study from the Norwegian Centre for Transport Research found that “(w)hen more cyclists turn to the roads in Oslo each spring, the risk for each cyclist of being involved in a conflict or near miss is reduced.”

By Charles Pekow

The report, Safety in Numbers: Uncovering the Mechanisms of Interplay in Urban Transport, says “(t)here has been a concern that an increase in walking and cycling will create more accidents.” But the fear is as misguided as going the wrong way down a one-way street.

Researchers looked at a variety of studies in Scandinavia. They were able to gauge traffic volume and crash data well because in the northern environment, cycling traffic varies tremendously by season. The greater the cycling traffic, the lesser the chance not only of collisions, but the lesser the number of near-misses. A main reason: with more cyclists on the roads, the more likely motorists were to see them and look out for them. Read report.


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Charles Pekow is an award-winning Washington correspondent who has written about bicycling for years in publications such as the Washington Post, Bicycle Times, Dirt Rag, SPOKES, etc. as well as Cycling West/Cycling Utah. He also writes frequently on environmental issues and beer, among other topics. Weather permitting, you'll find him most weekends and some summer evenings astride a bicycle in a park. He is also a charter member of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.


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