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Pedal cyclist injury deaths and hospitalisations 1999–00 to 2015–16

Injury Cycling Road safety Australia

This report looks at injury hospitalisations for pedal cyclists in 2015–16, as well as trend information for deaths and hospitalisations from 1999–00 to 2015–16.

In 2015–16:

  • about 12,000 cyclists were hospitalised due to injuries sustained in a crash—this was 1 in 5 of the 60,000 people hospitalised due to injury in a land transport crash
  • nearly 6 in 10 of hospitalised cyclists were injured in an on-road crash (6,900 or 58%), and the rest were injured off-road
  • nearly 6 in 10 hospitalised cyclists had sustained a fracture, with the most common injury being a fractured upper limb.

Between 1999–00 and 2015–16:

  • 651 cyclists died, an average of 38 deaths a year
  • of cyclists who died, nearly 8 in 10 were aged 25 and over, and 9 in 10 were male
  • nearly 160,000 cyclists were hospitalised, an average of more than 9,000 each year
  • across all ages, the rate of hospitalisation rose by an average of 1.5% each year
  • the proportion aged 25 and over rose, while the proportion aged under 25 fell
  • modelling showed a non-statistically-significant decline in cyclist deaths of 1% per year.

Hospitalisation rates rose for cyclists, but fell for other road users

The overall rate of hospitalisation due to pedal cyclist injury rose between 1999–00 and 2015–16, though year-to-year fluctuations varied. The modelled trend for the whole period shows an average rate rise of 1.5% per year, though this rise was faster over the more recent 6-year period (an average increase of 4.4% per year).

This pattern differs from that for motor vehicle occupants, which fell by 1.3% per year, and for pedestrians, which fell by 2.2% per year.

While the hospitalisation rates of pedal cyclists for on-road and off-road crashes fluctuated over the 17 years, both rates recorded similar increases since 2010–11, of 4.7% per year for on-road and 4.3% for off-road.

Publication Details


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Injury research and statistics series no. 123