Saturday 28 November 2020

Elderly cyclists more likely to be killed or injured on roads

Photo: Depositphotos.com

More elderly people are suffering cycling accidents, partly because of the growing popularity of e-bikes, new research has shown.

A study by traffic safety institute SWOV found that the proportion of over-80s who died in cycling incidents increased from 12% to 27% between 2000 and 2019.

Over-60s now account for three-quarters of fatal crashes in the Netherlands, while in 2000 half of all deaths were in younger age groups. Altogether 203 people were killed while cycling in 2019.

SWOV concluded that the availability of e-bikes had led to more elderly people cycling and making them more vulnerable in traffic situations.

The speed of e-bikes was less of a factor than the fact that elderly cyclists were more likely to lose their balance or collide with fixed objects such as lamp-posts and bollards, SWOV said.

E-bikes on average were just 4 kph faster than pedal-powered cycles. ‘Problems with mounting and dismounting and not seeing obstacles in time are significant reasons why older cyclists are relatively more likely to be injured in one-sided collisions,’ the report said.

Safety organisations ANBO and Veilig Verkeer Nederland said people should be offered training when they buy a bicycle or e-bike in order to prevent the number of traffic deaths among elderly people increasing further.

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