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Traffic Inj Prev. 2018 Jan 2;19(1):60-65. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2017.1336663. Epub 2017 Jun 5.

Features of fatal injuries in older cyclists in vehicle-bicycle accidents in Japan.

Author information

a Automotive Research Department , National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory , Chofu, Tokyo , Japan.
b Faculty of System Design , Tokyo Metropolitan University , Hino, Tokyo , Japan.
c Department of Legal Medicine , Shiga University of Medical Science , Otsu , Shiga , Japan.



The purpose of this study was to identify and better understand the features of fatal injuries in cyclists aged 75 years and over involved in collisions with either hood- or van-type vehicles.


This study investigated the fatal injuries of cyclists aged 75 years old and over by analyzing accident data. We focused on the body regions to which the fatal injury occurred using vehicle-bicycle accident data from the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA) in Japan. Using data from 2009 to 2013, we examined the frequency of fatally injured body region by gender, age, and actual vehicle travel speed. We investigated any significant differences in distributions of fatal injuries by body region for cyclists aged 75 years and over using chi-square tests to compare with cyclists in other age groups. We also investigated the cause of fatal head injuries, such as impact with a road surface or vehicle.


The results indicated that head injuries were the most common cause of fatalities among the study group. At low vehicle travel speeds for both hood- and van-type vehicles, fatalities were most likely to be the result of head impacts against the road surface. The percentage of fatalities following hip injuries was significantly higher for cyclists aged 75 years and over than for those aged 65-74 or 13-59 in impacts with hood-type vehicles. It was also higher for women than men in the over-75 age group in impacts with these vehicles.


For cyclists aged 75 years and over, wearing a helmet may be helpful to prevent head injuries in vehicle-to-cyclist accidents. It may also be helpful to introduce some safety measures to prevent hip injuries, given the higher level of fatalities following hip injury among all cyclists aged 75 and over, particularly women.


Older cyclists; fatality; fatally injured body region; head injury; hip injury; vehicle–bicycle accident

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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