Over-80s are 80 times as likely to die in a bike accident

The risk of being killed in a bike accident is 80 times higher for the over-80s than for young people, according to research for the traffic safety institute SWOV.

Earlier research by the cycling union Fietsersbond showed a seven-fold increase for the over-75s, but for the first time the risk for very elderly cyclists has been assessed, Trouw reported on Friday.

The over-80s only account for 3.5% of all cyclists, but accounted for 30% of the 200 cycling deaths recorded in 2011, the SWOV research shows.

The SWOV was asked to investigate road deaths last year, after figures for 2011 showed a rise in car and bike-related accidents. The main reason for the increase – which is largely confined to cyclists – is the fact that more people are actually out on their bikes, the organisation said.