A comprehensive analysis of bicycle-motor vehicle accidents in the Santa Barbara area during the period 1970 through 1972 is reported. Police reports of 495 accidents were studied, bicyclists' compliance with traffic laws measured, participants in recent collisions interviewed, and 2994 bicyclists and motorists surveyed in a questionnaire study. The interviews and questionnaire survey were concerned with knowledge of traffic laws and attitudes of motorists and cyclists toward each other. Bicyclists' disregard of basic traffic laws is a major factor in most accidents. Violation rates among bicyclists range to 90 percent. Motorists are shown to be more willing to assume responsibility for their traffic safety as are certain non-accident groups of bicyclists. Recommendations include: a comprehensive enforcement program with emphasis on public acceptance; a feasibility study aimed at determining a minimum age for bicyclists using public roadways; an analysis of risk-taking behavior among younger bicyclists; use of protective head gear and recognition of bicycle speed as a factor in serious accidents; and enhancement of the bicycle's low visibility profile. Bike lanes and bikeways are concluded to be only marginally effective when considered in terms of decreasing accidents.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored by California Office of Traffic Safety, Sacramento and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Santa Barbara Public Works Department

    Santa Barbara, CA  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Papish, L N
    • Lytel, R B
  • Publication Date: 1973-6

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 206 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00081516
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 6 1975 12:00AM