no46 2003
Bicycle Accidents

  While bicycles are a convenient, easy-to-use mode of transportation, the number of people who are killed or seriously injured during bicycle riding continues to rise. What is more, "bicycle-to-pedestrian accidents," in which bicycles are often at fault, have shown a sharp increase in the past few years. We hope to analyze the characteristics of bicycle accidents in the current issue and the next, and make proposals on how to lower the number of such accidents even just a little. The current issue of ITARDA INFORMATION introduces trends in bicycle accidents, frequency of accidents by age group, violations of the law, and other results obtained from the analysis of national accident statistics. In the next issue (Bicycle Accidents--Continued), we will describe the part played by the human factor in bicycle accidents, based on accident case studies.

1.Trends in Number of Casualties in Traffic Accidents
2.Age Groups Who Are Likely To Encounter an Accident on Bicycles
3.Why People Ride Bicycles
4.Is the Bicycle the
5.The Bicycle Is a Vehicle
6.What Are the Most Frequent Injuries Incurred in Bicycle Accidents?

(1)The number of people injured while riding on bicycles continues to rise, and while fatalities and serious
     injuries are on the decline with other means of transportation, they continue to rise with bicycles.
(2)The frequency of occurrence of bicycle accidents rises with each age group from infants to elementary
     school students to junior high school students and to high school students, peaking in the 16-18 age group.
     Safety instructions and education about commuting to school, geared to the period of schooling, should
     therefore be effective.
(3)Bicycle-to-pedestrian accidents, which are mainly caused by bicyclists, have risen sharply in the past few
(4)In bicycle-to-pedestrian accidents, the age groups who suffer most of the injuries as pedestrians are infants
     and the elderly.
(5)It appears that not many people are aware that bicycles are vehicles, or that many people ride bicycles
     without knowing this. In fact, many violations are seen; such as, failure to stop temporarily, failure
     to confirm safety factors, and traveling on the right-hand side of the road.
(6)Safety measures like wearing crash helmets will reduce injuries in bicycle accidents and should be
     implemented immediately.

Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA)