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Policy statement

Location of injuries to cyclists

The most frequent location of injuries suffered by child cyclists is the upper body, where slightly over a third of injuries are located. The lower body and face each suffer around a quarter of injuries. (VISS)

10% of injuries are to the head. Of these, 56% (5.6% of total injuries) involve concussion, 28% (2.8%) injuries to the skull and 8% (0.8%) are brain injuries.

Cuts, lacerations, superficial abrasions and bruising to the face, cheek, forehead and scalp, concussion and lower arm fractures are the most commonly recorded injuries to cyclists.

Head injuries: cycling compared with other causes

In Victoria, only 8% of children's head injuries are associated with cycling. (VISS)

In England and Wales, only 4.5% of children's head injuries involve cycling, excluding injuries involving a motor vehicle. (#10069#)

When motor vehicle crashes are taken into account, the proportion increases to between 5% and 6%. (DoH)

Location of injuries

Proportion of cycling casualties involving any kind of head injury

The figures below show the proportion of recorded injuries to cyclists that include head injury. However, the great majority of these injuries are superficial and recovery is quick. They are not in any way life-threatening.

Serious head injuries are much less common. In the UK it takes over 3,000 years of average cycling to suffer a serious head injury and road cyclists account for less than 1% of the serious head injuries seen by hospitals.

Country/Place % Ages Dates Source
Australia, Victoria 10% head, 0.6% brain, 24% face under 15 yrs 1989 VISS
Netherlands 23% 0 - 3 yrs 1998 - 2000 averages SWOV
27% 4 - 8 yrs
17% 9 - 14 yrs
UK, Northamptonshire 19% head, 20% face children July 1999 to Feb 2000 Northampton County Council staff newsletter
USA 11-12% all 1991 - 2000 averages CPSC
12 - 13% under 15 yrs 1991 - 2000 averages



Additional data on hospital admissions from Department of Health for England. Extrapolated for Wales.. .

DTI, 1999

Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System. UK Department of Trade and Industry, 1999.


Victoria Injury Surveillance System. Australia.

See also