Cyclists aged over 80 are 80 times more likely to die in a bike incident, Dutch study finds

More than 10 times more dangerous than riding at 75 years old

by Sarah Barth   February 10, 2013  

Dutch cyclists slipping on icy corner

A Dutch study has found that cyclists aged over 80 years old are 80 times more likely to be killed while out cycling than young people.

It's the first time such an elderly section of the population has been examined, and follows an earlier study showing the death rate for the over 75s was increased sevenfold.

Of course the older and more frail a cyclist is, the less likely he or she is to survive a collision, but the difference just five years makes is noteworthy.

The Dutch website Trouw reports that an increase in cyclist deaths led to research into the phenomenon by the traffic safety institute SWOV.

In  2010 and 2011 the death rate for cyclists per billion kilometres was 3 for the under 15s. For the over 80s though, it was 345. In the same age group, the number who died on foot per billion kilometres was 179 (of course it would take a lot longer to travel the same number of miles).

The over-80s only account for 3.5% of all cyclists, but accounted for 30% of the 200 cycling deaths recorded in 2011, the SWOV research shows.

Happily, the SWOV research did not find that Dutch cycle paths and roads had become much less safe, but rather that many more people were out on their bikes.

5 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

You could put that to anything for over 80’s i.e. the number who survive operations (you don’t have to be over 80 for that one), cold weather, slips or trips it’s not really that much of a surprise is it Thinking . Apart from that if I’m still cycling at 80+ and I die doing it I would be pretty happy just to have got that far with some of the total numpties driving at the moment.

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [493 posts]
10th February 2013 - 18:34


Nice bit of mathematics. A bit of a no brainer really.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1108 posts]
10th February 2013 - 19:59


I hope I'm still riding when over 80. And I think I'd rather die on a bike ride than in a hospital bed.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1448 posts]
11th February 2013 - 14:36


I want to be buried with my bike


posted by albanb [19 posts]
11th February 2013 - 18:59


albanb wrote:
I want to be buried with my bike

Pointless you will be dead let someone else ride it and get the enjoyment out of it that you did. As for the afterlife bollocks surely your celestial deity will furnish you with a mode of transport for you to ride around on that’s on par or better than the one you have? Wink

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [493 posts]
13th February 2013 - 18:13