Cycling in Belgium ‘no more dangerous’ than driving, study finds
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
In some instances, walking or cycling can have as little risk for dangerous accidents as driving does, according to a new study by Vias, which was formerly known as the Belgian Road Safety Institute.
The study compared the risk of walking, cycling, using powered two-wheelers, driving, being a passenger in a car, and riding a bus, with a distinction between seven age categories.
“When a pedestrian or cyclist walks or cycles for 5 minutes, this is no more dangerous than for someone travelling for 5 minutes by car,” Vias detailed. However, “someone who wants to travel the same distance as a car in 5 minutes does run a greater risk,” they added.
“Switching from the car to travelling by bus is also a positive move,” VIAS said. “Cycling and walking, combined with taking the bus, can also be considered as safe in comparison with car journeys – given that the risk per journey is no higher for either cyclists or pedestrians than it is for car drivers.”
The highest risk is for motorised two-wheelers, according to the study. “Whatever the perspective, they always present a much higher risk than car occupants and other road users,” the report said.
As for age groups, people aged 75 and over are at an increased risk of accidents for almost all modes of transportation, with elderly pedestrians being 54 times more at risk of a casualty than the average driver.