‘Black November’ of 2013, when six London cyclists were killed in the space of 14 days, was a sign of increased danger on the capital’s roads, a new study has found.
Published in Significance, the Journal of the Royal Statistics Society, the statisticians Jody Aberdein and David Spiegelhalter looked at the deaths of six cyclists who were killed while cycling in London.
Their piece poses the question: “as an urban cyclist, should you hang up your hat and fluoro? Should you forsake two wheels for four, or more, in order to preserve life and limb?
“Many will have started their journeys to work this month with more trepidation that they did in November.”
They then attempt to answer the question by considering how unusual six sequential deaths might be.
As they note: ‘Randomness is clumpy, and humans are excellent at pattern recognition.
“The issue with rare events which are subject to chance is that it is very hard as an observer to know whether there is an underlying pattern.
“We have, for a variety of reasons, a great propensity to attribute cause to chance occurrence.
“This tendency is never more active than when there is an emotive and high-stakes outcome.”
However the pair go on to study data from road traffic accidents for the whole of the UK for the last several years, concluding that there are historically on average 0.6 cyclist deaths per fortnight over the period 2005 to 2012.
Even plotting the deaths out over calendar months, in 8 years the statisticians find only five fortnights with 3 deaths in them.
Aberdein and Spiegelhalter go on to conclude that “It turns out that over 8 years the chance of our seeing six deaths in a 14-day period is around 2.5%.
“The usual level of “significance” in such analyses is set, arbitrarily, at 5%. In other words, the chance of observing an occurrence at least as extreme under the baseline assumption is less than 5%.
“Hence six deaths is a significant finding.”
Middle-class white bloke on a cycling website who has previously been banned under other names for racism tries to disguise his obsessive hatred of...
I think a lot of the modding here could be prevented if the maximum allowable wattage could depend on weight. My 20kg electric road bike feels...
Van driver freed after narrow bridge blunder in village...
I'm struggling to see how the judge's statement "not a danger to the public" tallies with the following paragraph.
That's likely part of it, the majority is usually a silent majority. Ever heard of cancel culture?
That 'boost' runtime is all but useless. Come on, 45 minutes autonomy....how many people do you know who go out for a 45 minutes trail ride?...
And less than a plurality of brain cells.
I've got a 2020 Scultura 7000e which cost £3,000 (slightly reduced) and came with Shimano Ultegra Di2. It's a fabulous bike - especially now with a...
Once again Rendel you miss the point spectacularly....