Characteristics of older cyclists (65+) and factors associated with self-reported cycling accidents in the Netherlands

C. Engbers* (Corresponding Author), R. Dubbeldam, J.H. Buurke, D. de Waard, J.S. Rietman, M.G.J. Brusse-Keizer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Cycling supports the mobility, health and independency of the ageing population. However, older cyclists have an increased injury risk. On average, the risk of older people to sustain an injury in a cycling accident is three times higher per cycling kilometre than for middle-aged people and the injury risk increases with age. In comparison with middle-aged cyclists (<65 years), the risk of hospitalization is more than four times as high for older cyclists (≥65 years). The aim of this study was to reveal characteristics of older cyclists in general and to explore which of these characteristics are associated with self-reported cycling accidents from age 59. More than eight hundred older cyclists (>65 years) filled out a questionnaire, which included questions on demographics, bicycle specifications and personal characteristics. By means of a logistic regression, the relationship between personal factors and self-reported bicycle falls were studied. The univariate models showed that age, physical and mental impairments, bicycle model, living environment, feelings of uncertainty of the cyclist and changed cycling behaviour (such as more patience, lower speed) were related to falling off a bicycle. From the multivariate model we can conclude that several factors are associated with falling off a bicycle in the older population: (1) every year the cyclists becomes one year older (from the age of 65), the chance they have fallen increases with 7.3%, (2) If cyclists have mental impairments, the chance they have fallen increases with a factor 2.5, (3) if cyclists were less than completely confident the chance they have fallen increases with factor 1.8, (4) if cyclists live in a rural environment compared to an urban environment the chance they have fallen increases with a factor 2.1. In conclusion, demographic, cycling and personal factors can be related to increased self-reported fall risk. It is advised to take these factors into account when implementing new cycling related safety measures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)522-530
    Number of pages9
    JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


    • Cycling safety
    • Older cyclists
    • Questionnaire
    • Self-reported falls
    • Traffic psychology


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