Article "Japan has highest cycling-related death rate in the developed world"

sakura

Cruising
May 15, 2009
29
0
11
Tokyo
#1
FYI--Interesting short op-ed article in this morning's Asahi Shinbun.

http://www.asahi.com/special/09016/TKY200908170213.html

Article quotes an unnamed statistical source to say that, at 14%, Japan has the highest number of cycling-related accidents (as a percentage of all domestic traffic accidents) in the developed world. If true, I wonder where these stats come from.

The author, a self-proclaimed "自転車ツーキ二スト," briefly discusses the dangerous state of cycling in Japan and the difficulty in changing the public perception that bicycles belong on the sidewalk. From what I've seen I can't say I disagree.
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,513
212
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#4
Yet, Japan and the Netherlands are probably the safer countries to ride in.
People in Australia are too scared to ride on the road as that is like Russian roulette.
Therefore less people ride on the roads in dangerous countries.

Most ants die while walking!.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,629
447
103
Japan
#6
Yet, Japan and the Netherlands are probably the safer countries to ride in.
People in Australia are too scared to ride on the road as that is like Russian roulette.
Therefore less people ride on the roads in dangerous countries.

Most ants die while walking!.
Yeah purely by their greater presence the numbers are higher. Car fatalities in Japan are way lower than other countries. Japan is not inherently more dangerous, rather just more numerous. Share the road, spread the love.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#8
Doesn't surprise me in the slightest; when I was hitchhiking around western Europe about 20 years ago, the scariest rides I had were in Portugal, including one memorable journey over mountains in a full-size long-haul truck, the driver of which would honk at every schoolgirl he saw on the street and overtake cars around blind hairpins as we sped up the hillsides. I also had my shortest ride there, from a guy in an ancient pickup truck that couldn't go higher than second gear, and had three Jesus figurines hanging from the rearview mirror and what appeared to be a complete nativity scene built on the dashboard. He gave me a ride of exactly 1km before he had to turn off the road...
 

sakura

Cruising
May 15, 2009
29
0
11
Tokyo
#9
Yet, Japan and the Netherlands are probably the safer countries to ride in.
People in Australia are too scared to ride on the road as that is like Russian roulette.
Therefore less people ride on the roads in dangerous countries.
Very good point. This would definitely skew the statistical results!

The Asahi Shinbun appears to be about right in stating 14% of all traffic fatalities are bicyclists in Japan, but the Netherlands definitely takes the top position. On the flip side, it does in fact look like Japan & Netherlands have a very low fatality risk among highly motorized countries. Thanks kiwisimon and zenbiker for forwarding the links!

If I ever decided to tour Portugal on a bicycle I'll be sure to get very good travelers insurance! That and one of those padded jerseys and crash helmets the Keirin racers wear!