Interesting article. And nobody really knows.
I can tell you that when I got hit, it was the driver's fault, and he got the ticket to prove it. He was 16, a brand new driver, and cut a corner short while turning. I was approaching the stop sign and he hit me head on. I was lucky. I got away with some scrapes and bumps and bruises, I did not hit my head, and my bike was repairable. His insurance covered all of the costs, including two lost days at work.
I remember seeing my sunglasses stuck in his grill. It was the single most frightening experience of my life and I still get jitters when I ride past that corner, even though it was 12 years ago.
On the other hand, I have also been in my car when crazy cyclists cut in front of me, ride too close, ignore stop lights and signs, don't signal when they will turn, etc etc. We've all been there. The two things that piss me off about it are (a) they are putting me at risk as much as themselves, and (b) they make the rest of us look bad. The worst? Parents who let their kids ride in the street without teaching them any regard for safety.
What have I learned? I try never to ride at rush hour. I refuse to ride in any major city (my town is small) I always wear a helmet, even though I hate it. (It took getting hit to teach me that... stubborn!) I never wear ear buds or anything else that prevents me from hearing what's going on around me. I stay really close to the curb when approaching corners.
Defensive driving applies to bike riding as well as cars, maybe more so.
***** Laurie in Northeast Ohio *****
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