Modelling the effect on injuries and fatalities when changing mode of transport from car to bicycle
Journal article, 2017
Background Several studies have estimated the health effects of active commuting, where a transport mode shift from car to bicycle reduces risk of mortality and morbidity. Previous studies mainly assess the negative aspects of bicycling by referring to fatalities or police reported injuries. However, most bicycle crashes are not reported by the police and therefore hospital reported data would cover a much higher rate of injuries from bicycle crashes. The aim of the present study was to estimate the effect on injuries and fatalities from traffic crashes when shifting mode of transport from car to bicycle by using hospital reported data. Methods This present study models the change in number of injuries and fatalities due to a transport mode change using a given flow change from car to bicycle and current injury and fatality risk per distance for bicyclists and car occupants. Results show that bicyclists have a much higher injury risk (29 times) and fatality risk (10 times) than car occupants. In a scenario where car occupants in Stockholm living close to their work place shifts transport mode to bicycling, injuries, fatalities and health loss expressed in Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY) were estimated to increase. The vast majority of the estimated DALY increase was caused by severe injuries and fatalities and it tends to fluctuate so that the number of severe crashes may exceed the estimation with a large margin. Conclusion Although the estimated increase of traffic crashes and DALY, a transport mode shift is seen as a way towards a more sustainable society. Thus, this present study highlights the need of strategic preventive measures in order to minimize the negative impacts from increased bicycling.
Transport mode change