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Accid Anal Prev. 2012 Jan;44(1):19-29. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2010.11.010. Epub 2010 Dec 8.

How to make more cycling good for road safety?

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  • 1SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. fred.wegman@swov.nl

Abstract

This paper discusses the current level of the road safety problems of cycling and cyclists, why cyclists run relatively high risks, and why cyclists may be considered as 'vulnerable road users'. This paper is based on peer-reviewed research which give some idea how to reduce the number of cyclist casualties. However, this research is rather limited and the results cannot (easily) be transferred from one setting or country to another: generalization of results should only be done with the utmost care, if it is to be done at all. Interventions to reduce cyclist casualties worldwide seem to be of an incidental nature; that is to say, they are implemented in a rather isolated way. In a Safe System approach, such as the Dutch Sustainable Safety vision, the inherent risks of traffic are dealt with in a systematic, proactive way. We illustrate how this approach is especially effective for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists. Finally, the paper addresses the question of whether it is possible to make more cycling good for road safety. We conclude that when the number of cyclists increases, the number of fatalities may increase, but will not necessarily do so, and the outcome is dependent on specific conditions. There is strong evidence that well-designed bicycle facilities-physically separated networks-reduce risks for cyclists, and therefore have an impact on the net safety result, for example if car-kilometres are substituted by bicycle kilometres. Policies to support cycling should incorporate these findings in order to make more cycling good for road safety.

2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22062332
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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