New review paper on single-bicycle crashes

A new review paper by Roni Utriainen, Steve O'Hern and Markus Pöllänen published in Transport Reviews discusses single-bicycle crashes which are a major contributor to cycling injuries.

Cycling delivers public health benefits and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions compared to motor vehicle travel. However, riding a bicycle has a higher injury rate per kilometres travelled. Therefore, the shift from cars to bicycles has the potential to cause undesired impacts in terms of road safety. Among cycling injuries, single-bicycle crashes (SBCs) constitute a significant number of all injuries, but the size of the problem is somewhat unknown.

This study focuses on the data mainly from the 2010s based on the scientific publications, and explores the proportion and the characteristics of SBCs internationally. Altogether 22 relevant studies were found. In the different studies, the share of SBCs among injured cyclists varies considerably from 17% to 85%. When considering studies based on larger samples and more representative data, the share of SBCs varies between 52% and 85%. It is suggested that SBCs are underreported in certain datasets depending on the methodology chosen to analyse SBCs. The proportion of SBCs has not changed notably during the early twenty-first century.

The main characteristics related to SBC events are loss of control or skidding in slippery conditions. The interplay between SBC-related factors such as the infrastructure, the cyclist and other road users, and the bicycle should be further investigated to better understand the causes of SBCs.

The review paper is published and available in open access in Transport Reviews at

Roni Utriainen

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Faculty of Built Environment
  • Tampere University
  • +358504478507
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