Irish cycling crashes & wearing a helmet: New HSE data reveals the truth

Posted on: June 8th, 2019

Figures for cycling crash injuries across Ireland

Irish cycling crashes data and research: Cycling crashes with drivers in vehicles account for the largest number of cycling crashes in Ireland. Those not wearing a helmet are more likely to suffer a head injury.

Cyclists involved in crashes in Ireland are admitted to hospital on average once every three days with major trauma, according to new data emerging from Irish hospitals.

And while helmets did not prevent head trauma every time, those wearing a helmet were less likely to suffer a serious head injury.

The research was compiled over a three year period, from 2014 to 2016. During that time frame 12 of the 410 cyclists with major trauma admitted to hospital died.

All of those 12 cyclists who died had suffered serious head injuries.

More cyclists than twelve were killed on the roads in Ireland during the three-year period under review.

However, many of the deceased were pronounced dead at the scene of a crash. Others died on the way to hospitals.

Dr John Cronin, an A&E consultant at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, has revealed the new data at a trauma conference in the Mater Hospital in the city.

He has said that the results of the research suggested “improved cycling infrastructure” could prevent many crashes.

Dr Cronin said while he wears a helmet cycling it has been argued making them compulsory would reduce numbers cycling, thus negatively impacting the nation’s health generally.

He also said it had been argued some drivers exercised less care around cyclists wearing helmets.

The research has been set out in a story by The Irish Times newspaper, which can you view here.

A summary of the new data on cycling crash in Ireland reveals:

  • 410 cyclists were admitted to hospitals with major trauma from road traffic accidents during the three-year period 2014-2016; an average of approximately one every three days.
  • One fifth of those – about 80 – needed to be admitted to intensive care because their injuries were so serious.
  • 27 per cent of cyclists wearing a helmet had suffered a head injury. 52 per cent of cyclists not wearing had suffered a head injury.
  • The ratio of men to women in the total 410 crash victims was 3:1.
  • The average age of the injured cyclists admitted to hospital was 44 years.
  • Of the 410 crash victims; 130 crashed with a driver in a vehicle, 23 crashed with other cyclists, 23 crash on an MTB ride, 53 had hit obstacles, 7 crashed with/into animals and 173 crashes were unspecified.
  • Most crashes occurred in summer and almost half were during traffic rush hour, suggesting they were commuting incidents.
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