Cyclist road deaths in London 1985-1992: drivers, vehicles, manoeuvres and injuries

Accid Anal Prev. 1996 Mar;28(2):275-9. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(95)00061-5.


We used coroners' records to investigate the fatal accidents of cyclists recorded on death certificates in London during 1985-1992. There were 124 deaths: 68 cyclists were injured in London and 56 injured in the "home counties" around London and died in London hospitals. The cyclists' ages were from 8-88, and 70% were male; the drivers were aged 17-74, and 96% were male. Of the 108 vehicles involved, 53 were cars (including one parked) and 40 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) (including 14 large lorries and 18 articulated lorries), 5 light goods vehicles, 5 buses and coaches and 5 motorcycles. Fatal accidents occurred with a wide range of manoeuvres; of vehicles turning left (driving is on the left in the U.K.), 14 out of 15 were HGVs. Accidents were most often on 2 lane roads and one half were near a road junction. Law violations were recorded in half the accidents; alcohol intoxication contributed only rarely. While injuries to the head were the commonest reported direct cause of death, Inner London deaths were frequently due to multiple injuries. The study confirms the serious danger to cyclists (particularly women) in Inner London from large and articulated lorries, causing death from multiple injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Athletic Injuries / mortality*
  • Bicycling / injuries*
  • Cause of Death*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • London / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Trauma / mortality*
  • Urban Population