Study gives insight in pedestrians injured by cyclists

A study has been carried out to show the extent and type of injuries sustained by pedestrians as a result of being hit by bicycles. It examined patient records from hospitals in New York and California, involving pedestrians who were injured by cyclists between 2004 and 2011. The samples do not include persons who were treated by their doctor or who did not receive any medical treatment. These samples consisted of 7409 in New York State and 6177 in California.

The most notable observation was that the numbers of pedestrians injured by cyclists declined after 2008 while the number of cyclists was increasing. Possible explanations given are less exposure of children to cyclists and improved cycle paths effectively separating cyclists from pedestrians. The data also shows the most common primary diagnoses. For outpatients, these were: injuries (23.8%), open wounds (18.4%), contusions (16.5%), and pain (11.2%). For inpatients, they were: fractures (61.6%), injuries (9.6%), hemorrhages (8.3%), and concussions (7.6%).

Abstract

Introduction Scant attention has been given to pedestrians injured in accidents resulting from collisions with cyclists. This scholarly neglect is surprising given the growing popularity of cycling. This study examines the incidence of pedestrians injured by cyclists in New York between 2004 to 2011 and in California from 2005 to 2011. The study also profiles the pedestrians injured in these two states during these two time frames. Method The data for this study are based upon patient-level hospital records from New York and California. The data for New York comes from the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) under the auspices of New York State’s Department of Health. The data for California come from two sources: the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Results The rate of pedestrians injured in collisions with cyclists has decreased over time. This decline has occurred despite the increase in the number of cyclists in these states during this same time period. Two possible explanations for this decline are: (a) less exposure of children to cyclists, and (b) improvements in the cycling infrastructure. Practical applications Although the rate of injuries to pedestrians from collisions with cyclists has been decreasing, improvements to the cycling infrastructure will need to continue. Bike lanes, particularly protected bike lanes, have been shown to be an effective way of reducing cycling-pedestrian accidents. The results of the current study are consistent with this research. Educational campaigns aimed at cyclists that emphasize the safety of all road users – including pedestrians – will also need to continue to assure that this downward trend in the number of accidents is not reversed.

Reference:

Pedestrian injuries due to collisions with bicycles in New York and California

Tuckel, Peter (Department of Sociology, Hunter College – City University of New York, 695 Park Avenue, New York; NY, United States); Milczarski, William; Maisel, Richard Source: Journal of Safety Research, v 51, p 7-13, December 2014

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