Study: Bicyclists, car drivers share blame for accidents

Stop! Stop! You’re both wrong.

There could be a break in the ongoing debate between bicyclists and vehicle drivers.

Star Tribune reports a new study blames both for accidents in Minneapolis:


Biker actions contributed to the crash in 59 percent of collisions, compared to almost 64 percent for drivers, according to the study presented Tuesday to the City Council. Sometimes both were judged at fault by investigating officers.

Crashes often occur because drivers don’t see or yield to bikes, the study found, or when bikers behave unpredictably by ignoring signals to stop or using lanes incorrectly.

Although investigators were often unable to determine a clear cause for accidents, the pattern differed by mode of travel. For example, drivers failed to yield in 32 percent of cases, compared to 13 percent for bikers.

The study also found there are few accidents on streets with bike lanes. So people are doing something right.

The Southwest Journal lists these as the worst intersections for bike/car crashes:

1.East Franklin Avenue and Cedar Avenue South (20 crashes)

2. Hennepin Avenue South and 7th Street North (19)

3. (tie) Hennepin Avenue South and 3rd Street North (17)

3. (tie) Hiawatha Avenue South and East 26th Street (17)

3. (tie) West Franklin Avenue and Nicollet Avenue South (17)

6. West Franklin Avenue Lyndale Avenue South (16)

But it’s not like there isn’t some love in this relationship. Like when someone on a bike rescues a woman trapped in a car in a pond.

  • Susan WB

    Hey, then actually, I’m right! I’ve always maintained that bikers and drivers share responsibility for avoiding crashes. I’ve seen (and yes, also done) stupid things done by both sides. Neither inattention nor screw-ups are the sole province of either drivers or bikers.

  • Kevin Watterson

    I frequent many of those intersections, they’re just plain bad intersections, particularly Franklin/Cedar. I wonder what the bike crash map would like like overtop of auto accidents.