In the wake of hysteria over bicyclists being dangerous for pedestrians, a new study finds that injuries are actually declining steadily.

The study was done jointly by professors from NYU and Hunter, using hospital data from the past ten years.

Between 2004 and 2008, the rate of cyclist-caused pedestrian injuries in New York State went from 3.29 per 100,000-person population to 5.45, then dropped to 3.78 by 2011. In New York City, the rate climbed from 4.26 in 2004 to 7.54 in 2008, but then fell again, to 6.06 by 2011.

Not only have injuries to pedestrians declined, but the years that became safer coincided with an increase of bikers in NYC. From 2007 to 2011, the number of bikers doubled. In total, there were 7,904 injuries over the ten year period in NY State, 92% of which were treated as outpatients.

The best explanation for the downward trend in injuries is that there’s simply better infrastructure for bikers and that there’s greater awareness of safety issues.

Speaking with Citylab, William Milczarski, an author of the study has a nice idea to further reduce accidents. Don’t be an asshole.

When we’re drivers, we forget that we’re also pedestrians. When we’re walking, we forget what it’s like to drive. The same thing goes for bikes. We always forget that we have these other ways that we get around.

Have a little empathy for the other guy. (Photo: Wikimedia)