According to an article posted on MSN Money,
For the past seven years, car insurer Allstate has looked at its claims data for the 200 largest U.S. cities to see which cities have the fewest car accidents per capita.
Unfortunately, Providence makes the top ten list
Fifth most accident-prone: Providence, R.I.
- Estimated population: 171,909.
- Average time between accidents: 6.0 years.
- Increased chance of an accident: 66.7%.
- Providence cracks the top five with drivers who get into accidents every six years.
This means that someone driving in Providence is 66.7% more likely to be involved in an automobile accident than the national average. While this is a report on automobile accidents, I would argue there could be a direct correlation between automobile accidents and encounters with cyclists. While some could blame poor street designs or maintenance for high accident rates, I don’t personally fall into that camp. Ultimately, the person behind the wheel of the car is responsible for their actions. If a street is dangerous or poorly maintained, then you need to SLOW DOWN!
So what does this have to do with cyclists? Two things:
- Cyclists in this area need to be much more vigilant than cyclists in many other cities in the US. We need to ride defensively and take care to ensure our own safety. It also means we need to ride predictably. Given the increased accident numbers, it appears motorists in this area are less adept at dealing with unforeseen circumstances; don’t ride in a manner that makes you one.
- We need to keep up and increase the pressure on state and city organizations to make safe choices whenever road work is happening. Do whatever they can to slow down automobiles and, wherever possible, put in cycling & pedestrian specific infrastructure. We need to share reports like this with our state and city representatives as a way of offering support for our lobbying for safer conditions for cyclists.