Fatal pedestrian-bicycle collisions

Forensic Sci Int. 2002 May 23;126(3):241-7. doi: 10.1016/s0379-0738(02)00085-3.


Although, fatal collisions between pedestrians and bicycles are relatively rare, they are still of forensic relevance because of the need to explore the circumstances of the accident. Based on three reconstructed cases, situation and injury patterns are presented that might prove useful in future cases: usually the person causing the accident is the cyclist while the pedestrian generally suffers more severe injuries; the situation at the site of accident is important for its reconstruction: end location of the persons involved in the accident, injuries and traces on pedestrians and cyclists, traces at the site of accident and on the bicycle; because of the lack of pre-crash traces and any eyewitness accounts, the pedestrian's injuries are the best starting point for the reconstruction of the accident; a characteristic wound on the lower leg of the pedestrian that reveals the initial impact between the front wheel and the leg is crucial not because of its seriousness, but because of its external morphology; the injuries that can be expected by the following impact between body and handlebar are unspecific and only minor; the most severe injuries to the pedestrian as a result of the accident are caused secondarily by falling and hitting the head on the road; the fall of the cyclist, however, corresponds to a throw-off followed by a sliding phase with less impact load when the head hits the ground [maximum abbreviated injury scale 1 (MAIS 1)]; the cyclists involved are mainly younger persons on fashionable bicycles (here: mountain bikes); in the great majority of cases, the injured pedestrians are frail, elderly people with a lower tolerance of trauma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bicycling / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Walking
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology*