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Key facts about injury when cycling in perspective
- The road users most at risk from head injury are pedestrians and young drivers. (Morgan 1988; Ramet and Vallet, 1987)
- In Great Britain, 6 times more pedestrians and 18 times more motor vehicle occupants suffer lethal head injuries than cyclists. Pedestrians and motor vehicle occupants also suffer more lethal injuries to the abdomen and thorax. (Kennedy, 1996; DfT, 1)
- Children are 2.6 times more likely to suffer head injury through jumping and falling than by cycling. (O'Rourke, Costello, Yelland and Stuart, 1987)
- More than 99% of head injuries seen by UK hospitals do not involve road cyclists. (Derived from OPCS 1 and Thornhill et al, 2000)
- Helmets for motorists are much more effective than those for cyclists and more beneficial than seat belts, interior padding or air bags. Their potential for reducing injury is 17 times greater than that of cycle helmets. (McLean et al, 1998; Kennedy, 1996)
Traffic Census Data. Department for Transport.
Kennedy A, 1996. The pattern of injury in fatal pedal cycle accidents and the possible benefits of cycle helmets. British Journal of Sports Medicine 1996 Jun;30(2):130-3.
McLean et al, 1998
McLean AJ, Fildes BN, Kloeden CN, Digges KH, Anderson RWG, Moore VM, 1998. Prevention of head injuries to car occupants: an investigation of interior padding options. Federal Office of Road Safety CR160.
Morgan J, 1988. Risk in cycling. TRRL WP/RS/75.
O'Rourke, Costello, Yelland and Stuart, 1987
O'Rourke NA, Costello F, Yelland JDN, Stuart GG, 1987. Head injuries to children riding bicycles. Medical Journal of Australia 1987;146:619-621.
Data from Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. .
Ramet and Vallet, 1987
Ramet M, Vallet G, 1987. Typologies des accidentes du trafic routier a partier de 5459 dossiers. INRET Rapports INRET/LCB Aug87 p106.
Thornhill et al, 2000
Thornhill S, Teasdale GM, Murray GD, McEwen J, Roy CW, Penny KI, 2000. Disability in young people and adults one year after head injury: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2000;320:1631-5.