Auckland researchers Michael Chieng, Hakkan Lai and Alistair Woodward have compared the risk of cycling with other common activities and found it to be relatively safe, so ask the good question ‘why is it perceived to be so dangerous’? The full paper can be found here and another perspective from Otago Uni public health expert Kate Sloane here.
Their abstract is:
We compared the injury risks of typical exposures to road cycling for transport with other common activities including do-it-yourself repairs (DIY) at home, horse riding, quad bike riding, rugby union and snow sports in New Zealand. Cycling on the road half an hour three times a week was similar to DIY twice a month and safer than horse riding 1.5 h twice a week (5-fold difference in injury claims), skiing half a day for 4–5 times per year (140-fold), and playing rugby once every 3 weeks (530-fold difference). In statistical terms, based on moderate injuries, cycling is less dangerous than many recreational and every day activities. We conclude that fear of cycling in car-dependent New Zealand arises mainly from other causes than risk of injury, associated with the marginal status of cyclists on the public road.