Safety increases as walking and bicycling increase in an area

The Toronto group Advocacy for the Respect of Cyclists recently posted a summary of some interesting research:
A report by Peter Jacobsen, published in the September issue of the Injury Prevention Journal, demonstrates that the more people there are walking and cycling in any given location, the less likely they are to be struck by a motor vehicle.

"Since it is unlikely that the people walking and bicycling become more cautious if their numbers are larger, it indicates that the behavior of motorists controls the likelihood of collisions with people walking and bicycling. It appears that motorists adjust their behavior in the presence of people walking and bicycling.

A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking and bicycling if more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the number of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling."