Flanders reports increase in bicycle use and accidents

Flanders reports increase in bicycle use and accidents
Credit: Belga

Cycling continues to gain in popularity in Flanders but there are also more accidents involving cyclists, Flemish mobility organisation VAB notes, based on rapidly increasing bicycle assistance files.

“There is clearly more cycling, but unfortunately that is also associated with more accidents,” says the organisation.

In recent years, Flemish people have opted increasingly for the bicycle. In addition to commuting, cities are also focusing more and more on better cycling infrastructure, “and more cycling infrastructure automatically leads to more cyclists,” VAB notes.

This year, VAB opened almost twice as many bicycle assistance files as in 2019 (+ 92.4%). Compared to 2020 there was a 47% increase, while the number went up by 32.2% from 2021, and the increase continues.

“Flemings got a taste of cycling during Corona time,” the VAB explains.

At the same time, bicycle accidents have been increasing sharply: the number registered by the VAB last year was double the 2019 figure.

This year, there are already more accidents than in 2021, 2020 and 2019 on an annual basis, according to VAB.

Slightly more than three quarters of VAB bicycle assistance is related to electric bicycles. Accidents with pedelecs take the cake. Although this type of transport is clearly gaining popularity among commuters, VAB has already seen over four times as many breakdowns this year as in 2019.

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