Who, Where, When: The Demographic and Geographic Distribution of Bicycle Crashes in West Yorkshire

Factors associated with cycle safety, including international differences in injury and mortality rates, protective equipment and bicycle training, have been subject to increasing academic interest. Environmental variables associated with cycle safety have also been scrutinized, but few studies have focused on geographical factors at the local level. This paper addresses this research gap by analyzing a geo-referenced dataset of road traffic incidents, taken from the UK’s STATS19 dataset (2005–2012). The authors investigate incidents involving cyclists within West Yorkshire. This is an interesting case study area as it has an historically low cycling rate but very ambitions cycling plans following investment from the Department of Transport. West Yorkshire is found to be an unusually risky area for cyclists, with an estimated 53 deaths and 1372 serious injuries per billion kilometers cycled, based on census commuting statistics. This is roughly double the national average. This riskiness varies spatially and temporally, broadly in line with expectations from the previous literature. An unexpected result was that cycling seems to be disproportionately risky for young people in West Yorkshire compared with young people nationally. The case study raises the issue of potential negative health impacts of promoting cycling amongst vulnerable groups in dangerous areas. The authors conclude by highlighting opportunities for increasing cycling uptake via measures designed primarily to improve safety. The analysis underlying this research is reproducible, based on code stored at github.com/Robinlovelace/bikeR.


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  • Accession Number: 01607974
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 8 2016 3:47PM