Single-bicycle crashes in Finland – Characteristics and safety recommendations

Roni Utriainen, Markus Pöllänen, Stephen OHern, Niina Sihvola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Problem: Increasing the role of cycling is necessary to reduce physical inactivity. While promoting cycling, attention should also be given to traffic safety. Hence, a better understanding on the underlying factors and safety recommendations of cyclist crashes is needed. This study aims to increase knowledge on fatal single-bicycle crashes (SBCs), where other road users are not collided with. Method: Data from in-depth investigated fatal cyclist crashes in Finland is analyzed from 2010 to 2019. The study presents descriptive analysis of the characteristics, underlying factors, and safety recommendations of SBCs (n = 82) and other cyclist crashes (n = 151). Logistic regression analysis and chi-squared tests were performed to identify significant characteristics for SBCs. Results: Fatal SBCs commonly involved people aged 60 or older, males, and cyclist not wearing a helmet. Cyclist’s health issues influenced the crash in 62.2% of the SBCs. Compared to other cyclist crashes, health issues, alcohol, males, other crash locations than intersections, and weekends were highlighted in SBCs. Safety recommendations emphasized human factors, such as informing cyclist about underlying factors and the use of safety equipment. Discussion: In addition to human factors, the safety recommendations included suggestions regarding the bicycle, the traffic environment, and traffic regulations. This highlights the need to focus on different safety improvement actions to reduce SBCs. This study identified key characteristics of SBCs, which may help traffic safety authorities address this road safety issue and ultimately help to promote cyclist safety. Practical Applications: Cooperation between the actors including health care providers and the police is also proposed to address cyclists’ health issues that contribute to SBCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-106
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cyclist
  • Bicycle
  • Crash
  • Road safety
  • Single-bicycle crash

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


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