Bicycling crash characteristics: An in-depth crash investigation study

Ben Beck, Mark Stevenson, Stuart Newstead, Peter Cameron, Rodney Judson, Elton R. Edwards, Andrew Bucknill, Marilyn Johnson, Belinda Gabbe

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50 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to describe the crash characteristics and patient outcomes of a sample of patients admitted to hospital following bicycle crashes. Injured cyclists were recruited from the two major trauma services for the state of Victoria, Australia. Enrolled cyclists completed a structured interview, and injury details and patient outcomes were extracted from the Victorian State Trauma Registry (VSTR) and the Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry (VOTOR). 186 cyclists consented to participate in the study. Crashes commonly occurred during daylight hours and in clear weather conditions. Two-thirds of crashes occurred on-road (69%) and were a combination of single cyclist-only events (56%) and multi-vehicle crashes (44%). Of the multi-vehicle crashes, a motor vehicle was the most common impact partner (72%) and distinct pre-crash directional interactions were observed between the cyclist and motor vehicle. Nearly a quarter of on-road crashes occurred when the cyclist was in a marked bicycle lane. Of the 31% of crashes that were not on-road, 28 (15%) occurred on bicycle paths and 29 (16%) occurred in other locations. Crashes on bicycle paths commonly occurred on shared bicycle and pedestrian paths (83%) and did not involve another person or vehicle. Other crash locations included mountain bike trails (39%), BMX parks (21%) and footpaths (18%). While differences in impact partners and crash characteristics were observed between crashes occurring on-road, on bicycle paths and in other locations, injury patterns and severity were similar. Most cyclists had returned to work at 6 months post-injury, however only a third of participants reported a complete functional recovery. Further research is required to develop targeted countermeasures to address the risk factors identified in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Bicycle crash
  • Bicycle lane
  • Bicycle path
  • Cycling
  • Patient outcome
  • Pedal cyclist
  • Return to work

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