Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development report. “Cyclists are considered vulnerable road users, whereby an error that might trigger a minor incident for a vehicle occupant could have major consequences for a cyclist.” The data is a few years old now and indeed cycling appears to be getting more dangerous. This is a national trend with hospitalisations growing 4% per annum.
Quick facts from the report (national figures).
- Cyclists comprise 3 per cent of all road fatalities and 15 per cent of all road hospitalisations.
- Children (0–16 years) have the highest population-standardised rate of cycling hospitalisations.
- Males are approximately four times more likely than females to be hospitalised following a cycling crash.
- Around 85 per cent of reported cyclist casualty crashes involve another vehicle (mostly a light vehicle).
- Around 25 per cent of cyclist casualty crashes occur when two vehicles (including the cyclist) approach an intersection from perpendicular directions or from opposing directions. Other frequent crash types are side-swipes (14 per cent), collisions with vehicle doors (7 per cent).
- Cyclist casualty crashes are heavily skewed towards the lower posted speed zones (50km/h and 60 km/h).
Traffic collisions ACT
Fatalities: cyclists as a proportion of all traffic fatalities, over time
Hospitalisations: cyclists hospitalised in traffic crashes
Reported injuries: cyclists injured in traffic crashes per 100,000 population
Casualty crash details
Cyclists casualties are most likely on local roads with speed limits of 50km/h or less. The reasons are twofold. At lower speeds, the cyclist is most likely to survive and also low-speed streets are most likely to be used by a cyclist. Cyclists keep away in numbers from the busier roads. These graphs show national figures and not just Canberra.
Analysis of crash types
Being cut off by a car while crossing an intersection is a common crash type for both 0-16 years (13%) and 25-60 years (12%). Children are also particularly vulnerable riding onto the road (“manoeuvring”) from the footway (27%) or driveway (13%).
Children are poor at judging when it is safe to “step” onto the road. They make mistakes and underestimate how easy it is for the driver to be unaware of them. Adults are much more aware of this and such collisions are much less common for adults of ages 25-60 years (footway 4% or driveway 5%). At intersections, we negotiate with drivers by making eye contact and judging whether we will be cut off.
(see Table 13, Australian cycling safety 2015, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Australian Government page 13)