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The opinions expressed in the studies are those of the consultant and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission.

Pedestrians and cyclists: unprotected road users

Pedestrians and cyclists: unprotected road users

Walking and cycling are transport modes where relatively unprotected road users interact with traffic of high speed and mass. This makes pedestrians and cyclists vulnerable. They suffer the most severe consequences in collisions with other road users because they cannot protect themselves against the speed and mass of the other party. Preventing collisions between fast and slow traffic is, therefore, one of the most important requirements for safe road use by pedestrians and cyclists. Other measures have to be sought in making the crash opponents less harmful to pedestrians and cyclists (see Vehicle design).

Of all journeys, 20-40% are travelled by cycle or on foot, with the highest percentage in the Netherlands and the lowest in Finland. Trips on foot take place most frequently in Great Britain, whereas bicycle trips are most frequent in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden [34]. Some groups of traffic participants walk or cycle more than others. These differences are also reflected in their crash involvement. Walking is particularly important for children below the age of 12 and adults aged 75 and above. The bicycle is used most frequently by adolescents (12-17 years of age) [34].