Number of cyclists injured in traffic much higher than thought
The number of cyclists injured in traffic accidents in the Netherlands is much higher than the reported figures show. Municipalities and provinces use data from the police, but this only includes serious accidents. VeiligheidNL did a study for the province of Friesland, also including data from emergency rooms and ambulance services, and found that the number of bicycle injuries in the province was eight times higher than the police reported, Trouw reports.
"Knowing that eight times more cyclists are injured is important, because road authorities such as the municipality and province base their policy on police figures. Correct data about the causes and location of bicycle accidents provide better insight so that we can take action," Sipke van der Meulen, Friesland's traffic director, said to Trouw.
The figures for the Netherlands as a whole are also much higher using this more complete counting method. For 2019, the latest figures available, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management estimated 14 thousand seriously injured cyclists, based on police data plus hospital admissions.
VeiligheidNL estimates 80 thousand injured cyclists in 2019, about 50 thousand of whom were seriously hurt. The organization also included emergency room figures. Some seriously injured people, for example with broken bones, don't have to be admitted to hospital, but can go home after getting a cast in the emergency room.