Aggravating and mitigating factors associated with cyclist injury severity in Denmark

Sigal Kaplan, Konstantinos Vavatsoulas, Carlo Giacomo Prato*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Introduction: Denmark is one of the leading cycling nations, where cycling trips constitute a large share of the total trips, and cycling safety assumes a top priority position in the agenda of policy makers. The current study sheds light on the aggravating and mitigating factors associated with cyclist injury severity on Danish roads by examining a comprehensive set of accidents involving a cyclist and a collision partner between 2007 and 2011. Method: This study estimates a generalized ordered logit model of the severity of cyclist injuries because of its ability to accommodate the ordered-response nature of severity while relaxing the proportional odds assumption. Results: Model estimates show that cyclist fragility (children under 10 years old and elderly cyclists over 60 years of age) and cyclist intoxication are aggravating individual factors, while helmet use is a mitigating factor. Speed limits above 70-80 km/h, slippery road surface, and location of the crash on road sections are aggravating infrastructure factors, while the availability of cycling paths and dense urban development are mitigating factors. Heavy vehicle involvement and conflicts between cyclists going straight or turning left and other vehicles going straight are aggravating vehicle involvement factors. Practical applications: The results are discussed in the context of applied policies, engineering, and traffic management solutions for bicycle safety in Denmark.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Safety Research
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully express their appreciation to three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments to a previous version of this manuscript and thankfully acknowledge the financial support to the project “Improving Road Safety” by the Danish Council for Strategic Research (Grant number 09-067200 ).


  • Cycling accidents
  • Cyclist behavior
  • Cyclist injury severity
  • Generalized ordered logit


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