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Safe Cycling IOM

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But how safe is cycling?


  • Non-cyclists have been found to have an all-cause mortality 39% higher than those who cycle to work, even after taking other factors into consideration. (Andersen et al, 2000)


  • Non-cyclists take up to 18% more time off sick than regular commuting cyclists. (Hendriksen et al, 2010)


  • Recent estimates suggest that the health benefits from physical activity outweigh the risks by up to 77 to 1. (Rojas-Ruede et al, 2011). A British Medical Association study found that even with hostile traffic conditions, the benefits gained from regular cycling outweighs the risk of loss of life by about 20 to 1.


  • A Copenhagen population study of 30,640 individuals over 15 years found that mortality in cyclists is 39% less compared to non-cyclists. It increases again for those who decrease their level of cycling.


  • There are 8 million cycle trips for each cycling death and 27 million miles cycled for each death – equivalent to over 100 trips to the Moon and back or 1000 times around the world.


  • Cycling safety has substantially improved in recent years, although at a slower rate than for most other modes. Cycling was 61% safer in 2012 than it was in 2002 (per mile travelled).


'One of the most important days of my life was when I learned to ride a bicycle' – Michael Palin