Reasons for Wrecks

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link below. Reasons For Wrecks

Bob Mionske is a two-time U.S. Olympic cycling team member (4th in the 1988 road race) who now specializes in bicycle law in Portland, Oregon. He writes the “Legally Speaking” column for, has a book called “Bicycling and the Law,” and runs a website. In short, he’s an expert on cyclists’ rights and how laws affect them.

His legal work also makes Mionske, 45, savvy about crashes. According to his research, there are about 500,000 cycling accidents each year that result in an emergency room visit. Here’s how they happen (numbers are rounded):

• 59% involve no object or other person
• 14% involve a fixed object
• 11% involve a moving motor vehicle
• 9% involve another bicycle
• 3% involve an animal
• 3% involve a pedestrian
• 1% involve a stationary motor vehicle
• 1% other

Considering only accidents involving a moving motor vehicle (11%), here’s where they happen :
• 45% in an intersection
• 25% entering a roadway
• 14% riding with flow of traffic
• 8% riding against traffic
• 9% other

The lessons are obvious : Never stop working on your bike-handling skills, and be extra cautious where there can be cross traffic – in intersections or when riding onto busier roads.