Chances that elderly cyclists are injured in an accident are 3.2 times higher than those of non-elderly cyclists. This increased risk is not so much caused by a higher degree of involvement in accidents, but mainly by their increased fragility, as demonstrated in research by Fietsersbond.
The more elderly people cycle, the lower on average their risk of injury in an accident. Explanations for this fact may be the increased practice and experience of the elderly who cycle more, as well as possibly better local infrastructure, being safer and more inviting for elderly people to use their bicycle.
Of all the factors studied in Fietsbalans two have a proven negative impact on the safety of elderly cyclists: noise levels (in the street) and traffic hinder (a measure for bustle in the street).
Based on this study Fietsersbond concludes that elderly people, between the ages of 60 to 74, who want to cycle, should be stimulated to continue doing so as long as possible. For those aged 75 and over it may be necessary to offer specific training, which may be provided by the cycling school of Fietsersbond. In addition a better cycling climate, more in particular bicycle-friendly infrastructure, leads to more bicycle use and lower risks, for elderly as well. Unlinking bicycle and car networks and wider bike paths also contribute to the safety of elderly cyclists.