Annually, in the Netherlands, approximately 67,000 casualties of cycling crashes are treated at a first-aid department (source LIS – Injury Information System of Consumers & Safety), 8,000 cyclists are admitted to hospital (source LMR – National Medical Registration), and 190 people die as a result of a cycling crash1 (CBS – Central Bureau for Statistics – Unnatural Deaths). Of the casualties admitted to hospital, more than a quarter were found to have head or brain injuries (27.5%) (Ormel, 2009).
1 Due to the extensive under-registration of (cyclist-only) cycling accidents in the official National Road Accident Register (BRON), this Fact sheet will henceforth only contain hospital data of the LMR. Deaths due to head/brain injuries are not included.
For those who frown upon the total absence of bike helmets in this video, consider these findings from a US study:
"Cycling in the Netherlands is much safer than in the USA. The Netherlands has the lowest non-fatal injury rate as well as the lowest fatality rate, while the USA has the highest non-fatal injury rate as well as the highest fatality rate. Indeed, the non-fatal injury rate for the USA is about 30 times higher than for the Netherlands.
Injury rate per million km cycled: USA 37.5; NL 1.4
Fatality rate per 100 million km cycled: USA 5.8; NL 1.1"
From: Pucher, John and Buehler, Ralph (2008) 'Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany'.
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