Prof. Brian Caulfield of TCD researches cycling issues


His latest work with his graduate student researcher, Jack Short, involved analysing two data sets containing information on serious injuries happening to cyclists on both our roads and off-road in driveways, gardens, MTB trails, etc. We know from the international research road safety research literature that police forces don’t necessarily record all cases of serious injury happening to cyclists from impacts with vehicles (these are called RTCs) on public roads so that there is considerable under-reporting of serious injuries.

The definition of a serious injury and its scoring is not standardised across health systems but as a general rule it is defined as an admission to an overnight bed from an emergency department (ED) in an acute hospital for any of the following: broken femur, collar bone, pelvis, skull, etc; internal bleeding due to organ rupture; lung puncture, etc.

The data-sets were (1) the Garda RTC investigation reports obtained from the RSA and (2) the HSE ED admissions for serious injury as a result of a declared cycling accident.

His research shows that there is under-reporting/-recording by Garda of RTCs where there are serious injuries happening to cyclists on our roads as a result of vehicle impacts. calls on the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport to work closely with the Departments of Health and of Justice and their agencies (Garda, RSA, HSE) to sort out this unacceptable situation.

“If it’s not counted – then it doesn’t count” is the maxim!

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