MILWAUKEE — A new study shows the most common type of deadly car crash in Wisconsin is likely not to involve another car. It has pedestrian and bicycle advocates speaking out about what they want drivers to remember.
Ammar Nsoroma is the chair of Red, Bike and Green Milwaukee which advocates for Black people to bike. The Milwaukee cyclist gave up using a car to get around the city 10 years ago. However, he says there have been issues with vehicles. He has been hit by multiple ties.
“I would say six,” said Nsoroma. ”Each time you learn different strategies to be safer."
His most serious crash involved a car that ran a stop sign. His leg got caught in his bike leading to multiple broken bones and months of recovery.
"The turn was so quick I kind of leaned against the car and the driver swerved to throw me off the car and I flipped,” said Nsoroma.
According to a new study by John Fitch using National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, it found the most common deadly crashes in Wisconsin do not involve two vehicles hitting each other. Instead, it is usually a car hitting bicyclists or pedestrians or some other object in the road. The study says pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users. The pedestrian advocacy group, MilWALKee Walks, says it is a message they are trying to get out to drivers.
"Nationally pedestrian fatalities are going up,” said Marybeth McGinnis, program manager at MilWALKee Walks. "Your average sedan, they are much more likely, if they do come into contact with someone walking you might flip over the hood and that is less likely to kill you. Where these larger cars if they hit you, they hit you, they are much more likely to hit your bodily organs and they are much more likely to kill on impact."
According to a study published by Harvard and Boston University, people of color are twice as likely to be killed while walking and more than four times as likely to be killed while cycling than white people. It points to a lack of basic traffic safety measures such as streetlights, crosswalks, and sidewalks in primarily Black neighborhoods.
"We are a group that tries to get more African Americans to ride for health reasons and it kind of contradicts what we are doing when we encourage you to get on the streets to ride and you are not safe on the streets,” said Nsoroma.
A reminder Wisconsin law says drivers must leave at least 3 feet of clearance between a vehicle and a bicycle.