Riding a bike can be fun and exhilarating, but the possibility of a crash is a concern for even the most experienced rider. Many riders will go well out of their way to stay off certain roads, worried about staying safe in traffic. It may surprise you to know that most bike crashes do not involve another vehicle but are falls caused by road hazards like poor pavement or obstacles. According to the 2020 Active Transportation & Health Indicators Report, most bike-related emergency department visits are reported as non-collision incidents, such as falling off a bicycle. Regardless, any kind of crash can result in serious injuries for the rider.

Map Your Near Misses, Falls and Crashes
Bicycle-vehicle collision and emergency department data is collected by the police and the hospital, respectively, but there is no one putting the whole picture together. For example, if someone crashes after hitting a curb and visits the hospital for treatment, the hospital records that there was an injury related to cycling, but not the location. If someone riding a bicycle narrowly misses being hit by a turning vehicle, it is not reported anywhere. We are about to change that! Bikemaps.org designed an interactive mapping tool for reporting cycling incidents. They were motivated to create the tool because researchers have found that only about 30% of bike collision data are collected and there is, otherwise, no centralized reporting system. Building a better data base will help us to advocate for improvements to cycling infrastructure.

Bikemaps.org was developed in partnership by academic researchers in Canadian universities to better understand the challenge that cyclists face and how to make cycling safer and more enjoyable. The site has an interactive map where you can zoom in and enter location and description information about cycling incidents in any community in Canada.

We want you to….
Use bikemaps.org’s on-line tool to report any falls, near misses, or crashes that you have on your bicycle. It might be an unexpected curb or post in the wrong place that caused a fall. It could be the way an intersection is designed that leads to a near miss. Recording near misses is important because they indicate locations where actual crashes could occur.

At the Peterborough Bicycle Advisory Committee, we are working to build the local data base so that we can improve local bike safety. Anyone can enter data on the simple interactive map, recording hazards that they see and experience while riding.

Go to BikeMaps.org and use the interactive map to record your incident or one that you witnessed.

There are five simple steps to inputting data:
1. Go to BikeMaps.org (or download the iOS app or Android app),
2. Zoom in on the map to the area of concern,
3. Click on the map marker (tear drop shape) on the left side of the screen,
4. Click where you had the incident, and
5. Record the information (collision, near miss, hazard).

Thank you for taking the time to enter any incidents that you experience on your bicycle! The cycling environment has improved significantly over the last 10 years, and we are working to keep the momentum going.
Pedal on!