Cycle safety - Measuring the crash risk

Shane Turner*, Tim Hughes, Tracy Allatt, Graham Wood, Qingwei Luo

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Cycling is a sustainable mode of travel and is an alternative to private motor vehicles in urban areas, particularly for trips of less than 6 km. Although there are a number of benefits of promoting more cycling, including health benefits to cyclists, reduced emissions, reduced parking demand and less traffic congestion, the risk of having a crash while cycling is typically higher than while travelling as a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle. There is also a perception that cycling is unsafe, particularly on busy roads. This paper presents research findings from two NZ Transport Agency (formerly Land Transport NZ) studies which focused on understanding and reducing the risk of cycle crashes. Progress on a third study on this topic is also presented. The first study focuses on the relationship between motor-vehicle flow, cycle flow and crashes. The key finding of this study is that as cycle volumes increase, the risk to the individual cyclist reduces, the 'safety in numbers' effect. The second study focuses on factors and interventions influencing cycle safety, other than cycle flows. This study involved the development of crash models for on-road cycle facilities at intersections and along road links in New Zealand, and looks at factors such as kerbside parking demand and the presence of a flush (painted) island. The final study, on the effectiveness of cycle facilities at intersections, looks at the relationship between the various cycle facilities installed at traffic signals and crash savings. Data on cycle facilities and other treatments, crash occurrence and traffic flows are being collected from around New Zealand and for a number of Australian states. Early results are presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)20-31
    Number of pages12
    JournalRoad and Transport Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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