Study looks at effectiveness of bicycle safety education for kids

This study had the objective of measuring the ability of a bicycle safety education curriculum to “reduce the number of injuries and fatalities”. It involved testing middle school kids before and after they were given a bike safety course to determine how much their knowledge had increased. I have some issues with the methodology. It seems to me this study simply tested how well the kids retained the information taught in the course. This may result in reduced injuries and fatalities but this study really doesn’t demonstrate that. It would be nice to see a follow-up in which accident statistics for children who did the course are compared with a control group who have not had the training.

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this study is to measure the effectiveness of a bicycle safety education curriculum for middle school age children in order to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities of bicyclists hit by cars in Miami-Dade County.

Methods The University of Miami BikeSafe® program includes a four day off-bike middle school curriculum that follows a train-the-trainer model, where a small number of staff trains a larger group of grades 6th-8th physical education teachers from various schools to teach the bike safety curriculum to their students. Subjects in this study included 193 students from 18 classes (3 per school) at 6 selected middle schools. Measures included a knowledge assessment of the curriculum that was administered to students pre- and post-curriculum implementation. Data were collected and analyzed with school and class period examined as predictors of post-score.

Results A significant difference (p .05), suggesting that a standard intervention was applied.

Conclusion The BikeSafe educational curriculum was found to improve the bike safety knowledge of middle school aged children. Future efforts will focus on sustaining and expanding this program throughout Miami-Dade County and other high risk communities.

Reference:

BikeSafe: Evaluating a bicycle safety program for middle school aged children
Hooshmand, Jonathan (University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, United States); Hotz, Gillian; Neilson, Valerie; Chandler, Lauren Source: Accident Analysis and Prevention, v 66, p 182-186, May 2014

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