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Capital Metro Safety Presentation by Mark Ostertag Why should we be interested in bicycle and pedestrian Safety? • People who walk and ride bikes instead of use their cars reduce the amount of traffic and congestion on the road, making our job easier. • They make cities healthier by reducing the amount of air pollution created. • Bicyclists can easily travel greater distances to bus stops, thereby increasing our “capture zone”. Why should we be interested in bicycle and pedestrian Safety? • Bicycle and pedestrian collisions are not as common as other accident types. However, they are frequently among the most expensive, probably because these accident participants don't have a metal shell (or safety cage) around them for protection. In other words, these types of accidents have a lower frequency rate, but a high severity rate. A single accident can cost potentially over a million dollars Why should we be interested in bicycle and pedestrian safety? • Walking in the United States is dangerous business. Per mile traveled, pedestrians are 36 times more likely to die in a collision than drivers. • Nationwide, 5.4 % of all trips are made on foot, but 13 % of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians. • Pedestrian fatality rates in the United States are far higher than in other industrialized countries. In both Germany and the Netherlands the fatality rate was 26 deaths per billion kilometers walked, while in the United States the rate was 364 deaths per billion kilometers walked — or fourteen times greater. Why should we be interested in bicycle and pedestrian safety? • The situation is getting worse. Urban sprawl has often left pedestrians stranded. Wide roads have been built without sidewalks or frequent crosswalks, and high-speed traffic makes these roadways particularly deadly. In many areas, intersections with crosswalks may be as much as a half-mile apart, leaving pedestrians with no safe way to cross the street. Of the pedestrian deaths for which information is recorded, almost 60 percent (59.1%) occurred in places where no crosswalk was available. Why should we be interested in bicycle and pedestrian safety? • We are obligated to share the road with them, and It’s the Law: • The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 requires transit agencies to work towards incorporating different transportation modes (like biking) into transit systems. • In 1998, the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) reinforced this mandate. • The Texas Vehicle Code has several laws dealing with bicycles and pedestrians. Significant Texas Vehicle Codes pertaining to bicycles • Sec. 551.101(a) A person operating a bicycle has the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle… • Sec. 551.103 (c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. • Sec. 551.103 (b) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of roadway. Significant Texas Vehicle Codes pertaining to bicycles • Sec. 551.103(a) a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway; unless (1) the person is passing another vehicle…(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway; or... Significant Texas Vehicle Codes pertaining to bicycles • Sec. 551.103(a) (cont.)... (3) a condition on or of a roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or substandard road width lane, prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway. Significant Texas Vehicle Codes pertaining to bicycles • This section of the vehicle code means that, in the opinion of the cyclist, if it is not safe to ride to the right side of the road, they are not required to stay right and are entitled to take up the entire lane. It is your responsibility to yield to them in this circumstance, so overtake them with caution. Statistics for Bicyclists National Statistics • In 1997, 813 bicyclists were killed and 58,000 were injured in traffic crashes. Bicyclists accounted for 2 percent of the deaths and injuries of all the people killed and injured in traffic collisions. • 88% of bicyclists killed were males and one third of all bicycle fatalities were between the ages of 5 and 15. 53% of bicycle injuries are between the ages of 5 and 15. Statistics for Bicyclists Major causes of collisions between motorists and bicyclists: 22.3% - The motorist failed to yield to the bicyclist 16% - Bicyclist failed to yield to motorist at the intersection 12% - Motorist turned or merged into the path of the bicyclist 11.8% - Bicyclist failed to yield to the motorist midblock 8.5% - Motorist overtaking bicyclist 7.6% - Bicyclist turned into the path of the motorist All other causes under 3% State Statistics In 1997, Texas ranked third in the nation behind Florida and California in bicycle fatalities, with 55 killed. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • As stated in our Safety Rules Handbook, Chapter 2, sec. 2.29 and reiterated in the Operator's Alert dated April 1, 1999, Operators should kneel the bus for cyclists placing their bikes in the rack, place the bus in neutral and apply the parking brake. This picture shows the problems for the cyclist when the bus isn’t keeled. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Bicycles that have large boxes or other items on the bike that obscure the driver’s view should not be placed in the bike racks, and those riders denied service. •For liability reasons, we do not assist bicyclists with the loading or unloading of their bikes on the racks. •Remind the bicyclist when they are boarding the bus to let you know when they are getting off. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Keep an eye out for bicyclists. They're not as easy to see as a car or truck and you are more likely to be looking for other motor vehicles. Keeping your windshield clean, as required by your CDL, is one of the best things that you can do to avoid collisions. Also, to reduce glare, keep papers off of the dash. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Remember that bicycles may have the same rights as a motor vehicle, but they differ from motor vehicles; there're smaller and can't move as fast. But they can change direction more easily, stop faster and move through smaller spaces. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Pass cyclists with care. Give them plenty of room. Look ahead when you drive, plan and anticipate passing bicyclists quickly and efficiently. Also, if you are planning to turn right immediately after passing a bicyclist, make sure you give them enough lead out that you don't cut them off. Many drivers do not realize how fast a bicycle can travel, and think they have time to turn in front of them. Cyclist can travel 15 to 30 mph. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Save your horn. Some bicyclists are startled by honking, and it could cause them to have an accident, or unexpectedly cause them to veer into the path of your vehicle. • Lights. When approaching a bicycle, your high beams can be blinding. Although many of you rarely use them, remember that they need to be dimmed for cyclists as well as other motorists. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Road conditions can affect a cyclists' behavior. Cars parked along the side of the road will cause them to ride farther out in traffic, because they are worried about car doors opening. Hitting an open car door may not hurt much when you’re in a motor vehicle, but it can cause very serious injury to a cyclist. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Sewer gratings, soft shoulders, construction areas, broken glass, gravel and other debris are no big deal for a motorist, but are serious hazards for a cyclist. They can cause cyclists to ride farther out into traffic or cause them to swerve unexpectedly out into traffic. When approaching a cyclist, learn to assess the road hazards the way the cyclist would and you will be better equipped to anticipate their actions. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Be extra cautious around cyclists that don't wear helmets. Head injuries cause 75% of all bicycling fatalities, and most cyclists know this. The City of Austin has had a helmet use ordinance (for children only) active since 1996. Riders that don't wear helmets are demonstrating that they are not safety conscious, and may be more likely to break traffic laws or act unpredictably. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • The same holds true for cyclists wearing headphones, as they need to be aware of their surroundings, especially sounds of traffic, and can't hear them if they are listening to music. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Be alert to cyclists during left-hand turns. Surprisingly, a cyclist is four times more likely to be hit by a motor vehicle that is turning left than by one that is turning right. Many drivers find that turning left is more difficult and their peripheral vision to the left (for approaching cyclists) is strained. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Watch out for bicyclists that ride up along the right side of the bus as you are approaching a stop (a frequent occurrence). You could open the doors right onto them, or let your passengers out right in front of them, causing a passenger-cyclist collision. For this reason, please curb your vehicle (even when there is a bike lane) so that cyclists either wait behind you or pass to the left. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Be alert for "midblock rideout", which occurs when a bicyclists enters the roadway from a driveway, alley or curb without slowing, stopping, or looking for traffic. This is the most frequent crash type for young riders, so when you see a child on a bike just off the roadway,expect them to dart out and be ready. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Similar to this is the "stop sign rideout", where the cyclist enters an intersection without observing the stop sign or traffic signal. 62% of child bicyclist-motor vehicle accidents are due to the cyclist failure to yield right-of-way to the motorist. 71% of teenage bicyclist-motor vehicle accidents are due to wrong way bicycling or bicyclist error at an intersection. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Watch out for the “draft”, or wake of air created by your vehicle. It can cause the cyclist to swerve unexpectedly. •Rear engine vehicles, like transit buses, can sneak up on a cyclist. Many cyclists depend on hearing a vehicle approaching from the rear, and a rear engine vehicle is usually a lot closer by the time they hear it. This can startle them, causing unpredictable behavior. Safe Driving Practices Around Bicyclists • Be appreciative when you encounter a cyclist following the rules of the road, yielding the right-of-way, or otherwise politely sharing the road with other traffic. • Give them a friendly wave, a smile or tell them thanks when they ride responsibly. After all, we want to encourage that type of behavior. • At a stop light, both the bicycle and bus move on green. After crossing intersection, Operator said they assumed bike was turning on to sidewalk. Collision occurred as side of bus hit the cyclist (11/11/99). • Cyclist states he was hit by bus forcing him into parked cars when bus switched into left lane on one-way road (12/14/99). Significant Texas Vehicle Codes pertaining to Pedestrians • Sec. 552.001 (b) A pedestrian facing a green signal may proceed across a roadway within a marked or unmarked crosswalk unless the sole green signal is a turn arrow. • Sec. 552.002 (c) A pedestrian may not start to cross a roadway in the direction of a "Don't Walk" signal or a "Wait" signal. A pedestrian who has partially crossed while the "Walk" signal is displayed shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the "Don't Walk" signal or "Wait" signal is displayed. Significant Texas Vehicle Codes pertaining to Pedestrians • Sec. 552.003 (a) The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing a roadway in a crosswalk if no traffic control signal is in place or in operation; and the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway in which the vehicle is traveling; or approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. • d) Sec. 552.003 (b) A pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and proceed into a crosswalk in the path of a vehicle so close that it is impossible for the vehicle operator to yield. Significant Texas Vehicle Codes pertaining to Pedestrians • Sec. 552.005. A pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle on the highway if crossing a roadway at a place other than in a marked crosswalk or in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. • Sec. 552.008. Drivers to Exercise Due Care. Notwithstanding another provision of this chapter, the operator of a vehicle shall: (1) exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian on a roadway; (2) give warning by sounding the horn when necessary; and (3) exercise proper precaution on observing a child or an obviously confused or incapacitated person on a roadway. Statistics for Pedestrians National Statistics • In 1998, 5,220 pedestrians died in traffic crashes,a decrease of 24% from the previous decade. • 69,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in 1998, a decrease of 18% from 1988. • 85% of all nonmotorist fatalities are pedestrians. • 78% of pedestrian fatalities occur at non- intersections. • 88% occur in normal weather conditions and 64% occur at night. Statistics for Pedestrians National Statistics • Walking is far more dangerous than flying or driving, per mile traveled: • 0.16 deaths per 100,000,000 miles aboard an airplane. •1.4 deaths per 100,000,000 miles in a car. . •Almost 50 deaths per 100,000,000 miles walked. Statistics for Pedestrians Ranking the major causes of pedestrian accidents 1 Midblock Dart Out 2 Intersection Dash 3 Vehicle Turn or Merge 4 Multiple Threats (A stopped vehicle at a crosswalk blocks the view of another driver approaching) 5 Backing Up 6 Bus Stop Related 7 Vendor Related Statistics for Pedestrians State Statistics 461 pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents in 1998. Again, just as with bicycling statistics, we were third in the nation behind California and Florida. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Increase your defensive driving "scan and search" to include pedestrians along the road and on the sidewalks. They're not as easy to see as a car or truck and you are more likely to be looking for other cars. • Keeping your windshield clean, so that pedestrians are more visible, is one of the biggest things you can do to reduce pedestrian accidents. Pollen, dirt and debris can increase glare and reduce visibility. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Be alert to pedestrians during left-hand turns. Just as with cyclists, a pedestrian is four times more likely to be hit by a motor vehicle that is turning left than by one that is turning right. As shown in driver work load studies, the left turning maneuver is more demanding, particularly for older drivers, and drivers appear to have problems with visual search and detection of pedestrians. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Children under 8 years old are not capable of safely navigating around traffic. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that a young child's awareness of sounds and the direction from which they emanate, their peripheral vision, their focus and concentration levels are not sufficiently developed until after 8 years of age. One study showed that 90% of street crossings made by children in K through 3rd grade were in error. If you expect children under 8 near the street to cross incorrectly, you will be right 9 out of 10 times. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Areas around colleges and universities should also receive special attention at all times. Expect students to be darting out, not paying attention to signals or traffic, or trying to catch the tail end of a walk signal, ending up still in the road when the light turns green. The same holds true for public schools during peak hours in the morning and afternoon. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Slow down! Especially in schools zones and other areas rich with pedestrians. • If a car going 20 mph hits a person, there is a 95% chance that the person will survive. • If the car is traveling 30 mph, the person has slightly better than a 50% of survival. • At 40 mph, only 15% of people struck at this speed can be expected to survive. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • During the summer months, Operators on routes that drive by pools and parks should increase their alertness for children darting out and more people crossing mid-block. Also, routes that go near Austin’s popular hike and bike trails should be alert, especially around the “hot” times - early evening and weekends. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Everybody knows to be alert when a ball comes bouncing out in the street, but statistically the same or more caution should be exercised when approaching an ice cream truck or other street vendor. • Joggers are a special hazard. Some of them violate traffic rules because they don't want to slow down or break their stride at intersections and many of them wear headphones, which takes away their ability to hear traffic noises. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Older pedestrians walk slower, which makes them more difficult for the eye to pick up. They also need more time to cross the street. Older pedestrians account for 13% of the population but 22% of all pedestrian fatalities. They have the highest death rate of any age group. Areas around retirement homes, senior centers, and nursing homes present an increased hazard. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Developments and neighborhoods that don't have sidewalks force kids to walk and wait for school buses in the streets, increasing the hazard. This problem is compounded in the winter months, when the low angle of sunlight, and the tendency to wear darker clothes makes them more difficult to see. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Entertainment areas, like 6th street, are another potential hazard. 31% of all pedestrian fatalities involved an intoxicated pedestrian. Drunk drivers are involved in only 12% of pedestrian fatalities, less than half the amount. Some people think that if they are too drunk to drive home, they will just walk, which turns out to be not much safer. Concerns about the inebriated also apply at transient areas like Riverside & Congress, and Lamar & Rundberg Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Be alert to unusual pedestrian behavior around Construction areas, which are dangerous locations for pedestrians. One reason is that many times construction areas or activities force the pedestrian to walk out into the street. Another is that the pedestrian is distracted because they are watching the construction activities and not paying attention to traffic. Safe Driving Practices Around Pedestrians • Exercise caution while making a Right Turn On Red. One significant cause of pedestrian fatalities is a turning vehicle in a crosswalk striking a pedestrian. • Bus making a left turn from 8th on to Colorado and struck a pedestrian in the crosswalk, injuring the pedestrian’s wrist and knee(1/22/98) • While pulling away from a bus stop at 5th and Congress, Operator hit lady walking in crosswalk. Lady’s upper arm was hit by front of bus before she fell on to sidewalk. (3/2/98). For bike and pedestrian accident prevention, Give the road your full attention.
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