Lethal Biking

To ride a bike, Berlin is probably the most dangerous city in Europe. At least this is what the latest figures given out by Berlins Senate show.

According to them 4.118 minor and 493 major injuries were recorded in 2005, as well as seven lethal accidents. The latter figure is already at 11 for the present year. Most accidents are caused by car drivers and not by the bikers themselves.

I quite doubt the last statement, made by Claudia Hämmerling, traffic expert from “Die Grünen”. Most of the time I move around Berlin with the scooter, sometimes also by car and by bike. From my observations, most of the bikers show the most ridiculous driving I experienced so far in any city I lives.

Driving without light or entering a crossroads at red light really increases the chances to get hit. Observations made daily. OK, the average Berlin car driver is not an enthusiast when it comes to cautious driving and often neglects that a turn signal might help in signalling others what he intends to do. But as a biker I would always see for myself first and not rely on others as I would be the weaker part upon contact with steel or concrete.

3 Comments so far

  1. wi11iam13 (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 4:35 pm

    I must confess that I am one of the ‘Verrückte Fahrräder’ on the streets of our fair city. Having been raised as a bicycle courier on the streets of DC, I was ingrained with the ethos that posed cars and busses as the first and greatest enemy with the fleshy pedestrians coming in a close second (those hair covered skulls can be almost rock hard!). but i am being slowly re-socialized and re-programmed into a domesticated two wheeler. Still the idea of waiting for the light seems totally absurd. And signalling the other drivers just gives them an unfair advantage! If they know where you are going, they can try to stop you!

  2. till (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 5:03 pm

    haha… me too at times. :P I must second the reckless driving… But I guess only if you drive a car or bike you can really relate to what is reckless and what is not.

    Apparently, if you never saw a biker in black clothing with no lights on at night, at the very last minute, you just don’t get how dangerous it is to bike around the city like that…

  3. wi11iam13 (unregistered) on November 17th, 2006 @ 8:08 pm

    i’m sure you will be amused to hear that i was stopped by the cops today at a police checkpoint. they warned me that there was a 15€ fine for wearing headphones while biking and that i was riding in the wrong bike lane (i was heading against traffic). amusingly enough i wondered why the checkpoint was there as i rode towards them, thinking perhaps there was some sort of terrorist scare. should have known they would only call out the green meanies for something really important like errant bicyclists!)

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