Miscellaneous facts collected by Cycle America.
The model American male devotes more than 1600 hours a year to his car. He sits in it while it goes and while it stands idling. He parks it and searches for it. He earns the money to put down on it and to meet the monthly installments. He works to pay for gasoline, tolls, insurance, taxes, and tickets. He spends four of his sixteen waking hours on the road or gathering his resources for it. And this figure does not take into account the time consumed by other activities dictated by transport: time spent in hospitals, traffic courts, and garages; time spent watching automobile commercials or attending consumer education meetings to improve the quality of the next buy. The model American puts in 1600 hours to get 7500 miles: less than five miles per hour (4.68 mph, ed).
Worldwide impact of twenty years of Critical Mass July 2013
You're at much greater risk of getting hit by a car when you're walking than when you're cycling. Per mile traveled, according to Pucher and Dijkstra, more than three times as many pedestrians die from auto collisions as do cyclists.
In the early 1990s, Failure Analysis Associates (since renamed Exponent), one of the world's leading engineering firms in the specialty field of quantifying risk exposure and preventing mechanical failure, estimated that riding in a car for an hour is almost twice as likely to kill you as is riding a bike for an hour.
The U.S. burns 10,000 gallons of gasoline a second
Gas stations are collections of incidental items, impulses and routines that seem in themselves to be inconsequential but aggregate into a goliath economy when multiplied by the hungers of 194 million licensed American drivers. Corn nuts, for example, are part of $4.4 billion in salty snacks sold at gas station convenience stores yearly, nearly all impulse buys. The hopeful purchase $25 billion in lottery tickets. People with the sniffles spent $323 million on cold medicine at gas stations in 2001. And the faint smell of gasoline near the pumps? In California alone, the amount of gasoline vapor wafting out of stations, as we fill our cars, totals 15,811 gallons a day -- roughly the equivalent of two full tanker trucks.
Research in multiple cities has shown that tripling the number of bike riders
Americans now use automobiles for more than 90
Every year motor vehicles kill over forty thousand people; fourteen on an average day.
Children who lived near streets traveled by more than 20,000 cars
Car dependence is a global public health issue of which gasoline wars
One-quarter of all car journeys are less than two
Motor vehicles are responsible for about one-third of global oil use,
I've been a fat couch potato since I was in middle school, and I'm now 31.
Less than one trip in 100 is by bicycle. If that ratio were raised to one and one half trips per 100, which is less than one bike trip every two weeks for the average person, the US would save more than 462 million gallons of gasoline per year. That would mean one day each year that the US would not need any foreign oil!!
Man Who Loved Bicycles, Memoirs of an Autophobe, now on line:
We hear about off shore drilling and many of us think of it as an almost benign activity. But do you know why environmentalists are so opposed to it? Why they know drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge could easily be worse? Consider the following facts found at (Do note the last sentence):
The amount of petroleum products ending up in the ocean is estimated at 0.25% of world oil production: about 6 million tons per year.
(ABC News 15 March, Moscow Times May 17 2001)
Cars are currently killing people at the rate of 10 jumbo jet crashes a day. That's only direct fatalities;
How General Motors systematically destroyed rail transport in the US
In the U.S.A., in 1971......2 million cars are halted at stoplights with their engines running.
People are not just asking for the area to be more pedestrian-friendly, they're demanding it. Scarcely a week goes by that someone doesn't call my office asking for a sidewalk or a trail.
"You should know that bicycling improvement construction costs run about $70,000 a mile; for 12-foot shared paths about $128,000 a mile; 5-foot bicycle lanes about $189,000 a mile; 5-foot paved shoulders on rural roads about $102,000 a mile. You should also know that one mile of urban freeway costs on average $46 million a mile. Don't let anyone tell you we can't afford bicycle lanes! You know better".
Traffic cuts 'need not harm economy'
The average stop sign in the US causes an average of 20 tons of carbon dioxide to be added to the atmosphere yearly
The average American car pollutes it owns weight in carbon in just one year
The University of California estimates there are 30,000 deaths a year because of gasoline or diesel fuel use
The closure of the city center of Bologna to auto traffic has reduced daily motor vehicle volumes from 160,000 to 35,000 a day
Cars Kill More Trees
Parking lots are empty 80% of the time: between parking at home, work, and on errands,
Streets, parking lots and alleyways already take up at least 40 percent of the average American downtown.
Although safety devices have reduced the chance of traffic fatalities, we still register 41,500 traffic deaths a year, nearly the same as a quarter century ago, because our mileage has doubled.
In Japan, dozens of transit stations have multi-story structures in which automated cranes park thousands of bicycles. Another way Japanese planners save space is through suburban rental systems. These facilities hire out hundreds of bicycles, many of which serve more than one commuter a day.
The daily battle with traffic congestion, according to a recent University of California study, tends to raise drivers' blood pressure, lower their frustration tolerance, and foster negative moods and aggressive driving.
Singapore charges private cars carrying fewer than four passengers "congestion fees" for entering the downtown area during rush hours. Since 1975 the scheme has raised Singapore's average downtown traffic speeds by 20 percent and reduced traffic accidents by 25 percent. Savings in fuel consumption are estimated at 30 percent.
As author and cyclist James McGurn writes, "The bicycle is the vehicle of a new mentality. It quietly challenges a system of values which condones dependency, waste, inequality of mobility, and daily carnage. . . . . . There is every reason why cycling should be helped to enjoy another Golden Age."
The average American spends 4 of his 16 hours in his car or working to pay for it.
The Price of Mid Eastern oil in 1/88 was $18/barrel, The price of such oil if included the cost of our military presence there would be $170/barrel
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can leave alone.
The Pentagon is the single largest consumer of oil domestically, it uses enough energy to run the entire US urban mass transit system for almost 14 yrs.....
Production of one truck tire requires equivalent of one barrel of crude oil....
The US population uses about one billion gallons of motor oil /yr, 35% of which ends up in environment...
An F16 uses more fuel in one hour than average car owner uses in 2 years
If one in four people commuted just 5 miles a week on a bicycle, the air would be spared of 6.7 million tons of carbon dioxide
With 5% of the world's population we squander 26% of the petroleum taken from the ground
50% of all car trips are 5 miles or less
Burning one gallon of gas creates 22 lbs of carbon dioxide (a major contributor to global warming)
Keep your car for bad weather?: For each 10 degree drop in temperature, there is a 3% fuel loss. Rain or snow reduces it another 10%.
Tip: Establish a no car limit ( ie. don't drive anything less than ____ miles)
Tip: Substitute one car chore a week with a bike trip and then start adding
Set up your own bike to work week or one at your company
Buckminister Fuller: If a person is sensitive to "as-yet-unattended-to human-environment-advantaging physical evolution tasks" in a disciplined and committed way, he no longer will have to worry about earning a living.
California can save more water today by not eating one pound of California beef than they could by not showering for an entire year.
Cars cause acid rain by emitting 34% of the nitrogen oxide in the U.S.
Do it yourself mechanics dump an Exxon Valdez worth of used motor oil every 2-1/2 weeks.
Commuting in L.A. takes 50% longer than a year ago. 79% of Los Angeles drivers drive alone.
Auto emissions account for 17% of worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide (C02), whose buildup in the atmosphere is causing planetary climate change.
Increases in the global population of cars have canceled the effects of fuel efficiency gains. Motor vehicles spew 63% more C02 into the atmosphere now than in 1971.
There is now one more vehicle for every 1.34 people in the United States. The number of motor vehicles in this country has grown over 40% since 1974, although the human population only grew 16% in the same period.
Operating a car would cost $3,000 a year more if the owner paid her/his share of road maintenance, health care and environmental costs.
Total miles driven in Western industrial countries in 1985 totaled 2.5 trillion: half a light year
Between 1974 and 1989, there were 775,257 deaths in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., more than all U.S. combat fatalities since 1775.
The National Crop Loss Assessment Program found that auto emissions cause annual yield losses of $1.9-$4.5 billion for wheat, corn, soybeans and peanuts alone.
Thousands of acres of critical wetlands are lost each year to highway construction. Water sources are contaminated by tons of salts poured onto highways and from oil dripped from cars.
As many as 49,000 people are killed every year on U.S. highways. If traffic grows as forecasted this will rise to 75,000 deaths every year by 2000.
Growing numbers of big trucks are major contributors to urban congestion and highway damage. Despite this, the U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes that heavy trucks pay only 65 per cent of their "fair share in user fees.
Per capita gas use in U.S. cities is nearly 4.5 times higher than in European cities and 1.5 times higher than neighboring Toronto. The auto- centered city of Houston, Texas uses 40 percent more gas per capita than transit-centered New York City.
The transportation sector is the biggest consumer, using 63 percent of all oil consumed in the U.S.
More than 3,000 miles of railroad tracks are abandoned each year.
One person using transit for a year instead of driving alone to work spares the environment from 9.1 pounds of hydrocarbons, 62.5 pounds of carbon monoxide and 4.9 pounds of nitrogen oxides.
Two railroad tracks have the hourly passenger-carrying capacity of 16 highway lanes. Two railroad tracks require about 50 feet of right-of-way compared to about 400 feet for 16 highway lanes.
The U.S. could save 33 million gallons of gasoline each day if the average commuter passenger load were increased by one person.
The U.S. could reduce the size of payments sent overseas to pay for foreign oil. In 1989 this totaled $52 billion, and is growing annually.
Ground level air pollution from cars is estimated to cause 30,000 deaths each year.
Auto and truck emissions contribute 20 to 30 percent of the U.S. global greenhouse gases.
Automobile air conditioners are the single largest source of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) that are destroying the earth's protective ozone layer.
The U.S. now consumes more oil for transportation than it produces. Imported oil averaged 45 percent of daily supply in 1989 at a cost to the economy of $52 billion.
In the next 30 years the number of cars and trucks on already congested highways will double, just as it has over the last 30 years, if current trends continue.
"Without question the most destructive agent of social disintegration, ecological contamination, poisoning of people and environment, waste of energy and even homicide (outstripping violent crime by more than two to one) is the automobile. "-Richard Register, Urban Ecologist
700 million gallons of lubricating oil, 200-250 million tires, 138 thousand tons of lead from discard auto batteries, and 9 million passenger cars are disposed of each year in the U.S.
Auto accidents have killed almost 3 million people in the United States since 1900 and are the number one cause of death for our nation's children.
The military budget siphons away 60% of our taxes-one third of which is spent policing Persian Gulf oil sources in peace time, which constitutes over 70% of our trade deficit.
In Denmark, they charge 200% sales tax on all car purchases and they have $1000 a year registration fee. The money is used to benefit public and bicycle transport.
In the Netherlands, 40% of all trips are made by bicycle, and a third of the people ride their bike to work everyday. The government has an "excessive driving tax" and they are trying to reduce the number of autos in the country to 3.5 million from the current 5 million.
In China, at least half of all urban vehicle trips are made on two wheels.
India has 30 million bicycles-25 times the number of motorized vehicles there.
In Osaka, Japan, 127,000 people bike to train or bus stations each day. People Power
In Bogota, Columbia, 900 cargo tricycles deliver baked goods for the entire city. Columbia has a program called "The City for the Citizens," which closes 56 kilometers of roads to cars every Sunday.
U.S. costs for imported oil could be cut by about 1 billion, if even 10 percent of American car commuters used bicycles, which would save about $500 a year in gasoline costs.
Delays owing to traffic jams cost the country more than $10 billion a year in lost work time, a figure expected to rise to $45 billion within 15 years, when 50 percent more cars are expected to be on the roads.
The United Nations estimates that the air of about half the world's cities contains excessive concentrations of such car-exhaust poisons as lead, which can cause severe physical and mental damage. Half of U.S. cities fail to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards for another car-emitted poison, ozone, which also causes human diseases and crop losses upward of $5 billion.
Bicycles could accommodate roughly 10 times as many people per hour as private cars in the same road space.
The Worldwatch report "The Bicycle: Vehicle for a Small Planet" ($4 from Worldwatch Institute, 1771 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20036) touts the bike as the vehicle of the future, not only in the United States, but globally.
43 percent of Holland's 100,000 populace use bicycles to get around.
"Philosopher Ivan Illich took the average amount of time people spend working to pay for their cars and the total miles driven each year, then divided that by the amount of time in one year. The quotient Illich came up with was four miles an hour-even less than the speed of riding a bike."
Consider this: More than 90 million Americans pursue recreational cycling.
From Alaska to Florida, there are at least 400 bicycle clubs, with membership ranging from 10 to 4,000 members.
In New York city alone, Transportation Alternatives, a local advocacy organization, estimates that there are approximately 65,000 bicycle commuters, 10 percent of the work force.
The Dodge brothers made bicycles before they began making. cars. The Wright brothers made bicycles and ran a bike shop while experimenting with aviation. The Warner brothers ran a bike shop and raced before following a fad called "the movies" where they later left their mark.
Commuter races between car drivers, bicyclists, and other travelers in cities such as Boston and Washington, D.C., regularly show that bicycling is faster than any other mode for distances of five miles or less. The more congested a city, the better the bicycle compares. A 30-minute bike ride gives you the same benefit as 30 minutes to an hour in the health club, and gets you to work in the process.
In Japan 15 percent of trips to work are by bicycle; in Switzerland, 10 percent; in the Netherlands, 30 percent and in what was once West Germany, 11 percent.
1 out of 74,000 people in China own a car
1 out of 10 people own a car worldwide
50 million new cars are produced each year
In the world, there are 540 million registered vehicles
800 million bicycles outnumber cars by two to one, and in Asia alone bicycles transport more people than do all of the world's autos.
Traffic monitors at an intersection in Tianjin once counted more than 50,000 bicycles passing in one hour.
Nearly 100 million bicycles are made each year, three times the number of automobiles.
An estimated quarter of a million people worldwide die in automobile accidents each year.
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration put the country's loss to traffic jams at $9 billion in 1984. The FHWA expects a fivefold increase in that amount by 2005. Some 50 percent more cars are projected to be on the road then, the typical commuter's 10 - or 15-minute delay may stretch to an hour, and roads will likely be congested throughout the day.
The catalytic converter actually increases carbon dioxide buildup.
A 10-mile commute by bicycle requires 350 calories of energy, the amount in one bowl of rice. The same trip in the average American car uses 18,600 calories, or more than half a gallon of gasoline.
100 bicycles can be manufactured for the energy and materials it takes to build a medium-sized car.
In 1986, the Netherlands' cycle paths covered 13,500 kilometers.
North America's closest approach to a cycling society is the bicycle-friendly university town. Two such communities in northern California, Palo Alto and Davis, vie for the title of bicycling capital of the United States. Davis has the higher cycling rate of the two-25 percent of total trips in the community of 44,000 are made by bike-and cycle trailers filled with groceries or children are not an unusual sight. Davis has some 30 miles of bicycle lanes for 100 miles of streets, and roughly 20 miles of separate cycle paths.
A 1983 survey revealed that 32 percent of people in Denmark traveled to work by bicycle.
The city government in San Francisco pays its employees seven cents a mile for all business travel by bicycle, and sponsors a city-wide monthly "Leave Your Car at Home Day."
Amenities at Xerox in Palo Alto includes a towel service in the shower room, which helps explain why 20 percent of the company's local employees cycle to work; one of the highest bicycle commuter rates nationwide.
In John Pucher's recent study of 12 countries in western Europe and North America, it is clear that when drivers are made to pay the costs of automobile travel through taxation of ownership and use, total mileage driven tends to decline.
Some cyclists can make all the difference in simply leading by example; Argentine President Carlos Menem has urged citizens to ease the shock of soaring gasoline prices by riding bicycles-and is a cyclist himself.
If Drive-alone commuters lleft their cars at home just one day a week, traffic would move once again. Congestion would be reduced by 14%.
In 1989 Californians drove 241 billion miles, the equivalent of 13 round trips to the moon.
There are approx. 400 million automobiles in the world. In Californian alone, there are more than 21 million vehicles and more than 19 million licensed drivers
Every day Californians lose 200,000 hours and our economy loses 3 milllion dollars to traffic congestion.
The number of bicycle commuters in this country has been increasing by an average of 12% a year since 1983 for a total of 3.2 million bicycle commuters in 1989 (the latest figures available) according to the Bicycle Institute of America.
In a 2-car household, bike commuting allows you to give up the second vehicle. New or old, this car usually drains about $3,00 per year, according to Federal Highway Administration statistics.
More health clubs are offering commuter memberships for $30 per month or less. You can't use the exercise equipment, but you get a locker, shower, and bike storage.
In 1989, bicycle, tricycle and unicycle fatalities fell to a 14-year low of 832; though they rose last year, to 856, they remained well below the peak of 1,003 in 1975. The government attributes the recent lower levels to increased helmet use and cyclist training.
Some employers give new bicycles to employees willing to cycle to work at least three times a week.
Some companies give free helmets, reflective vests and mirrors to committed riders. It also has volunteer bike mechanics on site and will rescue riders who get flat tires on their way to work.
"Number of Cars Is Growing Faster Than Human Population."
The US DOT reports that in the US in 26 years the number of vehicles [presumably, MOTOR vehicles] has grown six times faster than the number of humans, and increased twice as fast as the number of drivers. There is now one car for every driver.
Going car-less ... and fat-less
I swore off beer, junk and car for walking and busing. Two months ago I started commuting by bicycle. Today, I found I'll have to buy smaller clothes! I've reached the opposite end of my belt! :)
Accomplishing my weight loss goal 9 months early, I've had fun exploring the city (lived here 30 years, never saw it), done things I didn't think I'd ever be able to do again, and gained tremendous power and energy. ... Suppose I might as well keep on cycling. :)