Whether you are a casual rider who loves the feel of cruising around town during weekends or you cycle during weekdays to work, riding a bicycle is a good exercise that can help keep people of all ages in good physical shape. However, even as a hobby, riding a bicycle can also be an extremely dangerous activity, especially on busy urban roads where a lot of traffic is present.

Note that one of the most notable dangers associated with bicycle riding is the lack of protection surrounding the bicycle rider. While helmets do a great job of keeping bicycle riders safe, they do nothing to protect the other parts of a person’s body in an accident.

In addition, if a bicyclist is involved in a serious accident, the helmet might crack and result in a traumatic head or brain injury. Although there are very important safety steps and precautions cyclists can comply with to lessen the possibility of suffering an injury, there are some factors that are just beyond the rider’s control.

Note that bicycle accidents are more common in urban areas than in rural areas due to more traffic in urban cities than in the country. According to reports, at least 71 percent of fatal bicycle accidents that happens in a year occur in an urban area. During that same year, nearly 30 percent of fatal bicycle accidents took place at a traffic intersection.

Howbeit, just four percent of these accidents happened when the cyclist was riding his or her bicycle in a designated bike lane. Globally, cyclist fatalities decreased between 2001 and 2021, but statistics vary greatly from country to country.

For instance, the fatality rate for cyclists in Ireland is one per every one million inhabitants, while in the Netherlands; around eight out of every one million inhabitants die in a bicycle accident. Although it is challenging to find data to analyze bicycle-related fatalities by country, here are bicycle accident statistics by country.

Bicycle Accident Statistics By Country

  1. The Netherlands

According to reports, this country has had more bikes per capita than any other European country since way back in 1911. Have it in mind that around 99% of the 16.8m population of the country are cyclists. In 2021, 207 cyclists were killed in traffic in the Netherlands. Also, note that 83 percent of cyclist fatalities happened after a collision with someone driving a motor vehicle. Half of those who died while cycling was 65 years old or older.

  1. The United Kingdom

Cyclists are noted as some of the most vulnerable on UK roads and since the pandemic, cycling has grown exponentially on the roads in England and Wales. In 2020, statistics have it that around 141 cyclists were killed on UK roads. 4,215 were seriously injured and 11,938 slightly injured – and this puts it that a total of 16,294 cyclists were killed or injured on the roads in 2020.

The number of bicycle-related fatalities rose by 41% in 2020, which is a significant increase from fairly flat trends over the last 5 years. Also note that within the last 5 years, 83% of people killed or injured on a bicycle were male, with men and women aged 30 to 59 most likely to be killed or injured on their bicycle.

  1. Denmark

While the number of traffic crash fatalities in Denmark has reduced in recent times, the frequency of cyclists killed or seriously injured has increased. Note that for both single and multiparty bicycle crash categories, non-urban areas were noted to have more serious injury outcomes.

In terms of single crashes, wet surface conditions, autumn and summer seasons, evening and night periods, cyclists aged between 45 and 64 years, using bicycles as a means of transportation for work or educational activities, and bicycles with lights turned off were the causes of severe injuries.

For multiparty crashes, intersections, bicycle paths, non-winter season, not being employed or retired, and lower personal car ownership are the most notable causes.

  1. Germany

Out of over 80.6m who live in Germany, around 75% own and make regular use of a bicycle. However, also note that Germany accounts for the largest number of the EU’s bicycle fatalities by some distance, followed by Italy, Poland, Romania, France, and the Netherlands.

In 2020, the number of cyclists involved in road accidents fell around one percent compared to the previous year, from 88,880 to 87,342. The number of deaths remained the same, at 445. 118 of these cases were pedelec users, compared to only 89 in 2018. The vast majority of cyclists killed were elderly riders, with more than half (54%) aged at least 65.

  1. Sweden

Sweden is a very nice and bike-friendly country with a properly developed network of cycle paths in and around its towns and cities and marked cycle routes around the country. According to reports, a good number of bicycle accidents were single bicycle crashes, 17% in collisions with motor vehicles, and 11% in collisions with another cyclist or pedestrian.

Most single bicycle crashes were a result of loss of control (46%), mainly due to skidding on winter surface conditions (14%), followed by loss of control during braking (6%). Older cyclists were more often injured while losing balance at no or low speed and while getting on or off the bicycle.

  1. Finland

Although a small country on a global scale, just a total of 11 pedestrians and 11 cyclists died in traffic accidents on Finnish roads from January to June 2020. Have in mind that this figure is down from the same period in 2019, when 15 pedestrians and 21 cyclists were killed, and marks a sharp decline in the number of deaths over the past 15 years.

Finland has also enacted a new Road Traffic Act that aims to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists by reserving more separate lanes for ‘light’ traffic. Howbeit, even with the reduction in accidents, there has been an increased recklessness on Finnish roads, especially after the lifting of restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

  1. Japan

Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in Japan, especially among young people on school runs and the elderly. In 2021, the country witnessed around 69.69 thousand accidents involving cyclists, increasing from roughly 67.67 thousand in the previous year.

In at least 15 thousand cases, the bicycle rider’s negligence was the most severe among the parties involved. Accidents occurred to cyclists of all ages, but more to 15- to 19-year-olds (high-schoolers). At least nine in ten cyclist casualties were lucky enough to survive with minor injuries. Howbeit, as most cyclists do not wear helmets, head injuries are noted to be more frequent.

  1. Switzerland

Cycling in Switzerland is made convenient with shared roads, designated bike paths, and breathtaking cycling trails. According to reports, the number of serious road injuries on Swiss roads increased in 2020 by 4% to 3,793.

However, note that cyclists and e-bikers combined accounted for the biggest share (38%) of total serious accidents in 2020, followed by motorcyclists (29%) and the occupants of motor vehicles (18%). Pedestrians (11%) and others (4%) accounted for the rest. Serious cycling (+17%) and e-biking (+47%) injuries increased by 26% in 2020.

  1. China

Although commonly referred to as the Bicycle Kingdom, note that the nature, extent, and costs of bicycle-related injuries are practically unknown. In Beijing alone, bicycle traffic represents more than 50% of passenger transportation and over 30% of traffic accident fatalities. Also, note that at least 70% of the traffic accidents were related to bicycles.

The rate of fatalities for bicyclists 60 and older is five times greater than the average. The male mortality rate remains 2.4 times higher than the female mortality rate. Head injuries also represent about 71.9% of fatalities and 33.1% of hospitalizations. People with lower levels of education had higher injury rates.

  1. United States

According to reports, at least 1,000 bicyclists die and over 130,000 are injured in crashes that happen on roads in the United States every year. Also, note that the costs of bicycle injuries and deaths from crashes tend to surpass $23 billion in the United States each year.

Adults within 55-69 have the highest bicycle death rates, while adolescents, teens, and young adults represent the highest rates of bicycle-related injuries treated in emergency departments (EDs).

Also, note that over 65% of bicyclist deaths in the United States occur on sections of roads away from intersections (where higher speeds might occur) and 27% occur at intersections. Additionally, one-third of crashes that result in a bicyclist’s death involve alcohol for the motor vehicle driver and/or bicyclist.