Welcome to the first monthly roundup of serious bike accidents in Berlin. Serious as in serious enough to make it into a short press release by the Berlin police. (Those short “meldungen” can be found here.) It’s interesting to see what kind of situations led to the accidents, and whether something could have been done to avoid them. So I’ve made a simple illustration of each accident to make them easier to understand. (Sorry for inconsistencies in style, I just started this and am trying out various ways of illustrating accidents.)
In 2014 there were 52 traffic deaths in Berlin, up from 37 in 2013, according to the yearly traffic safety report. 31 of these 52 deaths, or 60 percent, were cyclists or pedestrians.
I partly do this out of self-interest. Always when I come upon a notice in the newspaper about an injured cyclist, I ask myself: Could this have been me? Usually the answer is no. These roundups of serious bike accidents in Berlin, where I live, will provide a more substantial picture.
I will only make illustrations of the accidents involving cars – there were four of those in the last month. The post ends with a couple of unillustrated incidents that involved pedestrians.
I could not get access to the “meldungen” from the first week of February. I asked the police if they could provide me with these somehow, for the benefit of this micro research project, but they replied that those reports were not available to me.
9 February 2015: Hit when crossing the street
Female cyclist, 18, crosses between cars when turning left on Luisenstraße from a bike path at 18.45. She is hit by a female car driver, 21. The cyclist suffered severe injuries and was taken to the hospital. The car driver was not hurt. (Meldung #0333)
10 February 2015: Hit in the bike lane
Female cyclist, 28, bikes in the bike lane of Friedenstraße at 17.30. The bike lane is of the most visible kind, where the tarmac has been painted red. A female car driver, 62, ignores the give way sign as she turns right into Friedenstraße. She hits the cyclist, who was taken to the hospital with severe injuries. (Meldung #0340)
18 February 2015: Hit by taxi in the bike lane
Female cyclist, 34, passes through the Moritzplatz roundabout at 21.20. A male taxi driver, 49, ignores the give way sign and hits the cyclist as he enters the roundabout. The cyclist suffered severe injuries to the head and was taken to the hospital. The taxi driver was not hurt. (Meldung #0411)
19 February 2015: 83-year-old cyclist hit by opened car door
Female cyclist, 83, bikes on Groß-Ziethener-Straße in Lichtenrade at 13.45. An unknown car driver (the police is currently looking for witnesses) opens the door of his or her parked car and hits the cyclist. The cyclist suffered severe injuries to the head and was taken to the hospital. A later press release from 23 February 2015 said she is now being treated for an intracranial hemorrhage and may not survive. (Meldung #0421, #0454)
Bike accidents not involving cars
Except for the accidents involving cars, there were also two bike accidents with pedestrians among the press releases in February 2015:
- 13 February 2015: Female cyclist, 57, biked on Adalbertstraße, Kottbusser Tor, when a male pedestrian suddenly crossed the street and collided with her. The cyclist fell and suffered severe injures to the head. She was taken to the hospital. The pedestrian disappeared, police are looking for witnesses. (Meldung #0425)
- 15 February 2015: Female cyclist, 74, biked on the pavement and was pushed to the ground when passing a bus stop with waiting pedestrians at S-Köllnische Heide in Neukölln. She suffered severe injuries and was taken to the hospital. Three young men, 20, 21 and 22, claim the woman tried to hit them with her bike. After she fell, they insulted her. The police are looking for witnesses. (Meldung #0380, #0388)