• Dadwagon on Facebook
  • Dadwagon on Twitter
  • Dadwagon RSS feed

Some Stats about Bikes, Death and the Dutch

May 18th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  3 Comments

I was, as usual, mouthing off a bit yesterday with my statements of affection for (largely helmet-less) Dutch bike and cargobike culture. But DadWagon friend and colleague Carly brought up a fine point: are there any statistics?

Yes, there are.

Amidst the many blogs devoted to the Bakfiets, the traditional Dutch cargobike, there are some numbers about Dutch death and mayhem on bikes.

Turns out it’s not much mayhem. Holland has the safest streets–for all forms of transport–in Europe. The Bakfiets en Meer blog has a good post quoting the stats culled a couple years back by an expat American living in Holland named  Toby Sterling:

Here are some quick excerpts though Toby’s original text is more fun to read. Basically the message is simple: despite extremely high rates of cycling and negligible helmet use the odds of being killed while cycling in the Netherlands are extremely low.

  • Nationally the total of bicycle accident deaths hovers around 200.
  • In Amsterdam about 6 people die in bike-related accidents yearly.
  • 16 million Dutch own 18 million bikes.
  • About half the population of the NL rides a bike once a day.
  • The average distance traveled by bike per person per day was 2.5km in 2006.
  • The bicycle is used for almost a quarter of all journeys, and 35% of journeys below 7.5km.
  • Overall traffic safety in NL is the best in Europe with 45 deaths per million inhabitants per year.
  • The US has 147 deaths per million inhabitants per year.
  • You’re more likely to die of murder in the US than by cycling in the Netherlands.
  • You’re more likely to die by drowning in the Netherlands than by cycling
  • So there you have it: fewer helmets, less death than in the U.S. But Carly was right: you can’t just translate one part of Amsterdam transport (bikes) to the U.S. and expect safety to follow. The streets need to change. The mindset of drivers needs to change. That’s what will save lives, not cargobikes.

    Not that cargobikes don’t have their charms. They clearly are fetish objects, among expats living there as well (something like the gaijin who spend their days cataloging their Ramen experience. As we’ve noted before, they seem to be catching on in the states (across the Bay from where I am at UC Berkeley for the week, in SF, there’s importers My Dutch Bike, for example). But we may be a long way before us Americans can compete in feats of strength and agility like these Dutch mamas at a bakfiets competition:


    Responses

    1. Gregor says:

      May 18th, 2011at 12:54 pm(#)

      Nathan – I’m loving these bike posts, much better than your usual crap 😉

      My wife and I visited Copenhagen recently, a similarly bike-friendly city. There are bike lanes separated from the vehicle lanes, crossings for bikes at every intersection and so on. I’m a total convert.

      I wish China would hurry up and kick our American asses already so we too can chill out and enjoy a lazy retirement.

    2. Brad J. says:

      May 18th, 2011at 1:58 pm(#)

      You have to check out this video to begin to understand why dutch people are so cool, and safe, and tall. http://bit.ly/aM78c5
      What Rush Hour Could Look Like: The Glorious Bike Traffic of Utrecht, Holland (@GOOD stuff)

    Trackbacks

      Our Fair City: The Big Jerk | DADWAGON

    Leave a Response

    tips/suggestions/grievances

    Recent Comments

    • Dee: As one of the impressed moms there last night, and also because my kid ate 3 bowls of that bolognese, thanks for...
    • Drew Wallner via Facebook: I’m totally making this when we get back from holiday travel, I even just got a...
    • Matt: Whoops! Just put that back in. The recipe editor has been fired.
    • Ed Lilly: Looks great – thanks for posting! One question – you did not specify putting the meat back into...
    • Maks: I’m against baby yoga for sure, but want to say something regarding that author is a little wild about...

    DadWagon Reads!

    DadWagon

    Do you show this to your kids?

    AP Images

    An unnamed gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Turkish police shot and killed the gunman, Turkish station NTV reported. Russia's ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot in Ankara, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman. #APPhoto by Burhan Ozbilici

    Story developing: http://apne.ws/2hRY0rH

    Dec 19th, 2016 7:32pm • No Comments

    "They watch their mothers and fathers overdose and die on the bathroom floor. They live without electricity, food or heat when their parents can’t pay the bills. They stop going to school, and learn to steal and forage to meet their basic needs."

    The Children of the Opioid Crisis

    wsj.com

    Left behind by addict parents, tens of thousands of youngsters flood the nation’s foster-care system; grandparents become moms and dads again

    Dec 16th, 2016 2:11pm • No Comments

    Don't forget the gift receipt(s)!

    A Gift for Every Type of Dad (That You Can Buy on Amazon)

    nymag.com

    Including cricket-flour protein bars, ice-cold beer chillers, and an air fryer that uses hardly any oil.

    Dec 9th, 2016 3:27pm • No Comments

    As Ryu Spaeth pointed out, the only thing worse than "Papa" is the pronunciation "paPA." PERISH THE THOUGHT.

    DadWagon

    “I just think ‘dad’ and ‘mom’ are very Saved by the Bell-ish,” said Will Grose, 36, a Brooklyn father of three boys under the age of 5.

    Nov 30th, 2016 5:20pm • 1 Comment