A drunk cyclist poses a traffic risk

A study shows that alcohol was involved in one out of three bicycling accidents that led to personal injuries. Drunk cyclists rarely used a helmet and thus suffered a head injury twice as often as sober cyclists. Accidents typically occurred on weekend nights.

Finns are surprisingly accepting of drunk biking, as a survey carried out by the Finnish Road Safety Council (Liikenneturva) in 2017 indicated that as many as 42% accept biking “while tipsy.” However, drunk biking is a crime under law. If a drunk cyclist endangers the safety of another person, he or she can be fined or sentenced to up to three months in jail.

Drunk cyclists have slower reaction times, more difficulties controlling their movements, and limited perception. Furthermore, they may take more risks. Drunk cyclists also often forget to wear a helmet. If you intend to drink alcohol, you should leave your bike at home to ensure not only your own safety, but also that of other road users.

Safety first in traffic

Everyone can make traffic safer by obeying traffic rules and using common sense. Cyclists should keep several important issues in mind:

  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bike.

  • A bike lamp and reflectors are a cheap means of life insurance when biking at night and in low-light conditions.

  • Ensure that your bike is in good condition. Pay particular attention to the brakes.

  • Be aware of other road users and adjust your speed to your environment.

  • Predict and signal your turns.

  • Do not ride a bike if you have consumed alcohol.

Additional information:

Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi)

Finnish Road Safety Council (Liikenneturva)