A new report out today from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (read it here) records trends in serious injuries from what they call land transport accidents. It records serious injuries requiring hospitalisation – including life-threatening injuries, but not deaths from road traffic accidents (either at the time or in hospital).
The report contains worrying statistics for male middle-aged cyclists (45-64) – life threatening serious injury for this group of cyclists has tripled between 2001 and 2008, from 83 (around 4 per every 100,000 people in the population) up to 265 (around 10 per 100,000 population). The percentage of all serious injuries that happen to cyclists and motorcyclists in this age group has gone from 30% in 2001 to 50% in 2008 (of that 50%, 17% is cyclist injuries and 33% are motorcyclists injuries). Males aged 25-44 also recorded a significant (though smaller) increase in serious injury – nearly doubling the number of injuries over the same period. Rates for males of all ages are between 4 and 10 times higher than for females.
What can we make of these numbers?