10% in Toronto

The University of Toronto recently published an interview with Professor Chris Cavacuiti of the department of family and community medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital in which he quotes a study that found bicyclists are the cause of less than 10% of bike-car accidents. From the interview:

While there is a public perception that cyclists are usually the cause of accidents between cars and bikes, an analysis of Toronto police collision reports shows otherwise: The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so. The second most common crash type involved a motorist overtaking unsafely. The third involved a motorist opening a door onto an oncoming cyclist. The study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents in this study.

The available evidence suggests that collisions have far more to do with aggressive driving than aggressive cycling.

I believe the study quoted by Professor Cavacuiti is the Toronto Bicycle/Motor-Vehicle Collision Study (2003). The full study can be viewed at the link below.

Read the full interview
View the full study

8 Responses to “10% in Toronto”

  • Brent says:

    Bike Intelligencer has a “fact-check” piece on that ten-percent figure:


  • Alan says:


    That’s an interesting analysis by Bike Intelligencer. I just saw an editorial at the Examiner.com that also did some fact checking. I was wondering about the 10% figure – I only had time for a quick read, but was unable to ferret out that number from the study itself (I’m assuming the professor took the time to do the math). It’ll be interesting to see if UT comes back with a second correction on their website.


  • Statisque int says:

    […] […]

  • ToddBS says:

    There is a correction posted at the bottom of the article indicating the NY study as the source of the 10% figure. They don’t however link to the study or mention that it is dated.


  • Cullen says:

    10%, eh?

    I don’t know if I’m supposed to be astounded by this, or totally unsurprised?

    I ride with very experience cyclists who know how to ride in traffic. But, I know there are a bunch of cycling newbies out there.

    Since the study was recently done, I’m really not all that shocked because the enormous price of gasoline has got a lot people using their bicycle as their main mode of transport (I’d like to see an EcoVelo “report” on that).

    Cullen Carter

  • Jun says:

    Ironically, there was a horrific road rage incident in Toronto monday night where the former attorney general of Ontario hit a cyclist, dragged him along the rode, and crossed the road in an apparent attempt to use poles, etc to peel the cyclist off the driver side door. The cyclist died after hitting a mailbox, falling and then being run over by the car’s rear wheels.

    This accident appears to have been one of the 90%.


  • ToddBS says:

    I’d hardly call that an “accident”. I have a hard time swallowing how the charge was not vehicular manslaughter or perhaps even murder (though I am admittedly unfamiliar with the charges in Canada).

    Of course, the cyclist’s actions are a bit unusual as well. Why on earth he would grab on to the door in the first place is beyond me, but it is totally unfathomable to me why he would not let go unless he was being held there.

  • Dave says:

    The investigation is ongoing, charges have been laid while the investigation is in progress, there have been reports that the cyclist left his bike, and reached into the window to grab the driver and/or wheel. Then there are reports to the contrary. It will be interesting to see what the investigation comes up with on this one. Many cycling advocacy groups are watching this one closely.

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