Incidence, severity and correlates of bicycling injuries in a sample of cyclists in Queensland, Australia
Accident analysis and prevention 2011
Bicycle injuries, particularly those resulting from single bicycle crashes, are underreported in both police and hospital records. Data on cyclist characteristics and crash circumstances are also often lacking. As a result, the ability to develop comprehensive injury prevention policies is hampered. The aim of this study was to examine the incidence, severity, cyclist characteristics, and crash circumstances associated with cycling injuries in a sample of cyclists in Queensland, Australia. A cross-sectional study of Queensland cyclists was conducted in 2009. Respondents (n=2056) completed an online survey about their cycling experiences, including cycling injuries. Logistic regression modelling was used to examine the associations between demographic and cycling behaviour variables with experiencing cycling injuries in the past year, and, separately, with serious cycling injuries requiring a trip to a hospital. Twenty-seven percent of respondents (n=545) reported injuries, and 6% (n=114) reported serious injuries. In multivariable modelling, reporting an injury was more likely for respondents who had cycled <5 years, compared to ≥ 10 years (p<0.005); cycled for competition (p=0.01); or experienced harassment from motor vehicle occupants (p<0.001). There were no gender differences in injury incidence, and respondents who cycled for transport did not have an increased risk of injury. Reporting a serious injury was more likely for those whose injury involved other road users (p<0.03). Along with environmental and behavioural approaches for reducing collisions and near-collisions with motor vehicles, interventions that improve the design and maintenance of cycling infrastructure, increase cyclists' skills, and encourage safe cycling behaviours and bicycle maintenance will also be important for reducing the overall incidence of cycling injuries.