Number of bicycle road traffic accidents in Japan 2010-2019

As of 2019, the number of traffic accidents involving bicycles in Japan reached over 15.7 thousand cases. While figures declined consistently up until 2016, numbers for the following years indicated a slight rise in bicycle accidents in the country.

Is riding a bicycle safe in Japan?

More than 60 percent of Japanese cyclists claimed to have experienced near accidents while riding a bike as of 2019. While the majority of bicycle accidents in Japan were caused by road users being negligent towards the traffic situation, other common reasons for (near) accidents include the usage of mobile phones, headphones, or umbrellas. Morning and evening rush hours were particularly prone times for encountering bicycle accidents, frequently involving cars or, to a lesser degree, motorcycles.

Bicycles are a common mode of transportation in Japan, especially among parents on school runs and the elderly, who rely on the usage of light vehicles to increase their mobility and therefore independence. Among both user groups, electric power assist bicycles have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, e-bikes tend to be heavier and due to their built-in electric motor also faster than the average bicycle. Such factors can contribute to a heightened risk of road accidents, especially among cyclists with limited stability. Nevertheless, the number of overall accidents involving motorized bicycles decreased from over 25 thousand in 2010 to under eight thousand cases in 2019.

What are the legal regulations in Japan?

Even though most cyclists in Japan reported to have experienced or just managed to avoid bicycle accidents, the proper response following an accident was unknown to a large share of Japanese bike owners. Yet, over 50 percent of cyclist were insured against damages in the event of accidents as of 2019.
In addition to the nationwide mandatory registration process of bicycles, the local governments of Saitama, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Nagano, Shiga, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Kagoshima prefectures enforced compulsory liability insurances for cyclists.

Number of road traffic accidents involving bicycles in Japan from 2010 to 2019

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Sources

Release date

February 2020

Region

Japan

Survey time period

2010 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Values have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Bicycle industry in Japan"

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