New research from local hospital statistics reported today has shown that serious trauma resulting from bike crashes grew by almost 10% between 2007 and 2015.
While the study in the Medical Journal of Australia doesn’t determine whether or not there are more people riding more often on the road, it has once again highlighted the need to minimise risks for bike riders, especially around motor vehicles.
We know that crashes occur when there is greater interaction with cars. Bicycle Network’s own crash report shows that the vast majority of bike crashes happen on roads at intersections, while other research shows that more than half of crashes involve another road user, usually a motor vehicle.
Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer, Craig Richards, said that we need improved bike infrastructure and a safe systems approach to increase safety and encourage more people to ride.
"There's no point tinkering around the edges. We need a multi-pronged approach to reduce the risk for people riding bikes. It should include separated infrastructure, speed reduction, supportive legislation that prioritises riders, social norms to increase rider numbers and autonomous vehicle technology,” said Mr Richards.
While these trauma statistics are concerning, the good news for bike riders is that the odds of being involved in a crash are still significantly low.
Another finding of Bicycle Network’s crash report is that the chance of a bike rider crashing are just 0.003% on any day, while the chance of being involved in a crash that requires hospitalisation on any day is just 0.001%.
“The risk of being involved in a crash is significantly low, especially a crash that results in serious trauma. However, there are still too many people going to hospital and there’s so much more that we can do to reduce the risk for people who ride bikes,” added Mr Richards.