The aim of the study is to compare trends, circumstances and outcomes of single- versus multi-vehicle bicycle on-road crashes in Victoria, Australia, through the analysis of police records and hospital admissions between January 2004 and December 2008. The results show that over 80% of on-road single-vehicle bicycle crashes occurred as a result of the cyclist losing control of the bicycle with the remainder involving collisions with objects. Compared with multi-vehicle crashes, single-vehicle crashes were more likely to occur in the dark, in wet conditions and in rural areas. Over half of the cyclists hospitalised as result of on-road crashes were injured in single-vehicle crashes and this proportion seems to be increasing over time. Single-vehicle crashes were associated with hospitalised injuries as severe as those resulting from multivehicle crashes. The findings highlight the significant burden of serious injury associated with single-vehicle bicycle road crashes. Further research is needed to investigate in greater detail the risk factors of these crashes and the effectiveness of countermeasures to reduce their burden.
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