The main source of road accident data in Great Britain is that collected by the police for input to the national data base. This data base provides limited information about the accidents and injuries sustained by the casualties. Previous research has shown a large number of accidents involving pedal cyclists do not get reported to the police and hence do not appear in the data base. This report describes a one year hospital based study undertaken to identify the main factors and the level of under-reporting of pedal cycle accidents, and to investigate these accidents in depth. Under-reporting rates are calculated for slight, serious and fatal accidents which are used to estimate the total number and actual cost of pedal cycle accidents. The main causes of accidents to children, teenagers and adults are identified, and blame and conspicuity are discussed. The injuries sustained by the casualties are examined by body region and in relation to length of stay in hospital. Engineering and educational measures likely to reduce pedal cycle accidents are discussed and the potential saving in casualty costs, which would accrue from the use of helmets by cyclists, has been estimated. (A)

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