University of Otago injury prevention researchers have created a map that could help identify dangerous routes for cyclists. Photo Stephen Jaquiery
Researchers have created a map pinpointing the exact location
of every accident involving a car door being opened on a
cyclist in New Zealand in the last five years.
The online map was created by laying data from New Zealand
Traffic Crash Reports from 2007 - 2011 on top of Google Maps,
and is believed to be world first.
The University of Otago injury prevention researchers created
the tool with the idea of helping city planners and traffic
engineers identify dangerous routes for cyclists.
Director of the university's Injury Prevention Unit Professor
Hank Weiss said the map - the first to cover an entire
country - would let cyclists know where their local "dooring"
hazard areas were.
"By highlighting particular problem areas we can look at what
kind of solutions can make these streets safe and convenient
for all road users," Weiss said.
"While this may involve compromises, we need to pay special
attention to the vulnerability of cyclists who wish to ride
in safer environments."
The map shows the location of 245 dooring injuries over the
five years, how serious they were and the direction the
cyclist was travelling.
About 20 per cent of those hurt were seriously injured and
The data also showed that men were twice as likely to be
involved in a dooring crash than women.
Users can also click into a street view of the crash site to
see a photo of how the road side might have looked.
While it's probable there were more than 245 incidents over
the five years, "it is great to have such fine detail about
the crash type and location for so many cases", Weiss said.
Weiss' idea for the map came after the death of a cyclist on
Auckland's Tamaki Drive in 2010, a roadway shown on the map
to have a cluster of crashes.
Other significant hazard areas include Victoria St in
Hamilton and Riccarton Rd in Christchurch.