Tapaturma­päivä

Observational failures are a typical element in cycling accidents – National Accident Prevention Day focuses particularly on men’s proneness to accidents

Nearly half of the men who cycle have either had a fall or been involved in an accident while cycling during the last three years, according to a cycling survey conducted by the Finnish Road Safety Council. The Accident Prevention Day on 13 September will focus especially on accidents and commuter traffic safety amongst men. Taking the accident test is one of the ways of identifying your personal risk factors.

In 2017, accidents resulted in the death of 2,325 people, 65% of whom were men. Four out of five accidental deaths amongst working-age people happen to men.*

Based on preliminary information compiled by the Workers’ Compensation Center, a total of approximately 127,000 occupational accidents took place in 2018. Roughly 23,000 of the compensated accidents took place while commuting between home and work.**

‘The decisions we make can have an impact on the accident risk we face. The Day’s slogan translates as” no monkey business, please”, and we hope it will encourage people to consider the choices they make, says Specialist Kerttuli Harjanne from the Centre for Occupational Safety.

– By identifying dangers, using safety equipment and other appropriate gear, anticipating risks and messing around less often we could avoid many accidents at home and work and while commuting.

One half have been involved in an accident or fallen off a bicycle

For many people, travelling to and from work is the riskiest part of their work days. Walking or cycling to work is an excellent choice, but accidents can happen.

Almost half (49%) of the men who responded to the cycling survey*** conducted by the Finnish Road Safety Council said they have either had a fall or been in an accident while cycling during the last three years. Furthermore, one in three women had had an accident during the same period.

The most commonly given reasons for the accidents included weather and road conditions and the individuals’ own errors in judgement or observation. In addition, other road users’ observational failures and excessive speed were amongst the top reasons for accidents.

‘Exercise and training, enjoying cycling and health factors were named as the main reasons for using a bicycle’, says Planner Jyrki Kaistinen from the Finnish Road Safety Council.

‘Adopting a proactive riding style and making other safe decisions can help you avoid an accident that could cut your cycling season short. Maintaining your bike and using appropriate equipment are also good ways of making cycling safer. Three out of five of the men who took part in our survey said they monitor the condition of their bikes regularly, which is fantastic.’

The choices we make are vital in preventing accidents

Many companies have started promoting safe commuter traffic as part of their overall safety promotion.

‘Safer commuter traffic reduces the number of accidents and days spent on sick leave. By doing so, it also reduces the costs incurred by sick leaves,’ says Harjanne.

This is why businesses are encouraged to participate in campaign. Furthermore, everyone can test their own safety knowledge and skills by taking the accident test (in Finnish) at kotitapaturma.fi/tapaturmatesti/.

 Organisations and authorities have been working together since 1993 in order to prevent accidents. Accident Day is intended to make people aware of how risk-taking causes accidents at home and work and in traffic. The date varies every year, because Accident Days always take place on Friday the 13th. In 2019, there will be two Accident Days: on 13 September and 13 December.

More information

Saara Aakko, Planning Officer, The Finnish Red Cross, tel. +358404806973,             saara.aakko@redcross.fi

Pirjo Lillsunde, Negotiating Official, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. 029 516 3177, pirjo.lillsunde@stm.fi

Persephone Doupi, Senior Researcher, National Institute for Health and Welfare, tel. +029 524 7383, Persephone.doupi@thl.fi

More information about cycling:

Jyrki Kaistinen, Planner, Finnish Road Safety Council, tel. +358 20 728 2345, jyrki.kaistinen@liikenneturva.fi

More information about commuter traffic safety:

Kerttuli Harjanne, Specialist, Centre for Occupational Safety, tel. +358 40 716 5915, kerttuli.harjanne@ttk.fi

tapaturmapäivä.fi (in Finnish)

kotitapaturma.fi/en/

Statistics

*Official Statistics of Finland (SVT): Causes of death in 2017.

**The Workers’ Compensation Center 2019. Preliminary estimate: The number of occupational accidents increased in 2018 (in Finnish)

***The Finnish Road Safety Council’s cycling survey 2019. The material was gathered via an online survey in April and May 2019. The total number of respondents was 1,695, out of which roughly 61% were men.