New data into the causes of bike crashes has revealed that a person riding a bike has a 0.003% chance of being involved in a crash on any given day.
Released today, the crash report from Bicycle Network analyses details from 2,480 bicycle crashes reported over five years (2012 to 2016) by members, including when and where they happened.
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said that the data goes a long way in dispelling the myth that riding a bike is a dangerous and risky activity.
“Our report shows that the chance of being involved in a crash when you ride a bike is miniscule, just 0.003% on any day, and 0.99% in a year,” said Mr Richards.
“More people go to hospital each year from falling off chairs than they do falling off bikes.”
Another key finding from the report is that despite popular belief, the vast majority of crashes happen in good weather, on flat roads and at intersections – not when riders are travelling downhill, in the rain or on gravel.
The data indicates that a crash is most likely to occur in areas that are seemingly non-risky, but are dominated by cars, highlighting the need for bike lanes that are separated from motor traffic.
“These results are not entirely surprising when you consider that when it comes to bike crashes or collisions with vehicles, studies show that car drivers are mostly at fault,” Mr Richards said.
“While our data shows that crashes are minimal, they are still avoidable and it is clear that the number one action we need to take to make bike riding even safer is to improve separation between bikes and cars.”
October was the month that recorded the most crashes, followed by January. The morning peak is the most prevalent time for crashes, when traffic is more concentrated.
All Bicycle Network members are entitled to free consultations after a crash and are comprehensively insured for medical, third party damage and other costs associated with a crash.
“We encourage our members and anyone who rides a bike to report any crash they are involved in, even if they are not hurt, to make sure we can continue to improve analysis and build better places to ride,” added Mr Richards.
The report has been presented to VicRoads and the TAC.
Where bicycle crashes happen – Melbourne
- The majority of crashes in the Melbourne CBD happen on major streets at intersections
- The most crashes were recorded on Collins Street and La Trobe Street, a thoroughfare for traffic from the north and east towards Docklands
- Elizabeth Street also recorded a large amount of crashes, particularly around intersections at Lonsdale Street and La Trobe Street where there are large amounts of cars, trucks and buses, as well as bikes
- Just outside the CBD, Queensberry Street recorded a large amount of crashes
- Very few crashes were recorded on off-road bike paths and trails
- Further crash locations around Australia are highlighted in the report
Bicycle crashes – the statistics
- Most crashes happen when the weather is fine (81.4%) and the road is flat (70.7%)
- October and January are the two most common months for crashes, with the fewest recorded during winter months
- Crashes are most common during peak hour, but the number of crashes in the morning peak almost double those of the afternoon peak
- Intersections are the highest risk area, where 42.8% of crashes occur
- Only 20.9% of crashes occur in environments where there are no motor vehicles
- 13.8% of crashes occur when the rider is travelling at less than 11km/h, and 46.1% when the rider is travelling at less than 21km/h
- The chance of a bike rider crashing are just 0.003% on any day, and 0.99% in a year. The chance of having a crash that requires hospitalisation on any day is just 0.001%