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Bicycling isn't so Risky

From: Avery Burdett
Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.soc
Subject: C-PAG's Helmet Paper
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1993 22:55:21 GMT
The Ontario Road Safety Annual Report stated that in 1991 there were 542 driver, 298 passenger, 157 pedestrian, and 27 cyclist fatalities in Ontario. 50.5% of all major injuries are suffered by drivers, 34% by passengers, 11.5% by pedestrians, and 4% by cyclists. There were less than 5 million passenger vehicles registered in 1991. The Province's Minister of Transportation has indicated that there are approximately 2 million regular cyclists in Ontario. Using 5 million as the number of regular drivers the measurement of risk based on population in 1991 - 13.5 cyclist fatalities per million cyclists. 108.5 car driver fatalities per million drivers.

An Assessment of the Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Law in Australia
by D. L. Robinson,
AGBU, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.

Relative risks may be assessed by comparing the 1988 fatality rates with estimates of distance travelled by the various modes of transport e.g. using the Survey of Day-to-Day travel in Australia 1985- 86. (1) FORS presented figures to show that fatalities to cyclists were 3-4 times higher than to occupants of motor vehicles by distance traveled, (2) but by hours of travel, fatalities to cyclists were slightly lower, or, in other words that the average speed of motorists is approximately 4 times that of cyclists. Using this conversion factor, the relative risks of dying of head injury for equivalent activity times are little different for motorists (0.19) and cyclists (0.25) and that a law requiring cyclists to wear helmets but not motor vehicle occupants is discriminatory against cyclists.

1) Federal Office of Road Safety, Canberra, Australia. Day-to-day travel in Australia 1985-1986. 1989.
2) Federal Office of Road Safety, Australia. Road fatality rates in Australia, 1984-85. 1989.

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