To describe the characteristics and costs of injuries to cyclists resulting in a 3rd party insurance claim in Tasmania.
Data on injuries to cyclists were obtained from the Motor Accident Insurance Board (MAIB) for the period 1990–2010. Frequency and insurance costs of injuries to cyclists were compared to injuries incurred by other road users. Descriptive analyses of cycling injuries and insurance costs by year, age and sex of claimant, and type and location of injury are presented.
Annual costs of insurance claims by cyclists averaged AUD 3.9 million. There was a significant decrease in the frequency of claims made by all road users combined over the study period, but not for cyclists. Cycling injuries made up 2.0% of claims but accounted for 3.4% of the total costs and were among the road user groups with the highest mean costs per claim. Fractures (20.7%) were the most common cycling injury. Brain injuries led to the highest mean claim costs (AUD 1,559,032), and accounted for 66.8% of claim costs made by cyclists.
Mean costs per claim for cycling injuries are high compared to those made by most other road users. The costs of these injuries impose a substantial burden on insurance payers. The high costs and severity of claims by cyclists compared to other road users demonstrates the high vulnerability of cyclists, and lends support to increasing separation of cyclists from motor vehicles.