Bicyclist injury severities in bicycle-motor vehicle accidents

Joon Ki Kim, Sungyop Kim, Gudmundur F. Ulfarsson*, Luis A. Porrello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

318 Citations (Scopus)


This research explores the factors contributing to the injury severity of bicyclists in bicycle-motor vehicle accidents using a multinomial logit model. The model predicts the probability of four injury severity outcomes: fatal, incapacitating, non-incapacitating, and possible or no injury. The analysis is based on police-reported accident data between 1997 and 2002 from North Carolina, USA. The results show several factors which more than double the probability of a bicyclist suffering a fatal injury in an accident, all other things being kept constant. Notably, inclement weather, darkness with no streetlights, a.m. peak (06:00 a.m. to 09:59 a.m.), head-on collision, speeding-involved, vehicle speeds above 48.3 km/h (30 mph), truck involved, intoxicated driver, bicyclist age 55 or over, and intoxicated bicyclist. The largest effect is caused when estimated vehicle speed prior to impact is greater than 80.5 km/h (50 mph), where the probability of fatal injury increases more than 16-fold. Speed also shows a threshold effect at 32.2 km/h (20 mph), which supports the commonly used 30 km/h speed limit in residential neighborhoods. The results also imply that bicyclist fault is more closely correlated with greater bicyclist injury severity than driver fault.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-251
Number of pages14
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers whose constructive suggestions helped improve the paper. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina, which provided the data for this study. The study was supported in part by the Department of Civil Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis.

Other keywords

  • Accident
  • Bicycle
  • Biking
  • Crash
  • Injury
  • Severity


Dive into the research topics of 'Bicyclist injury severities in bicycle-motor vehicle accidents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this