The BICE Study
October 31, 2012 3:44 AM Subscribe
Our study, “Bicyclists’ Injuries and the Cycling Environment” (the BICE Study), examined which route types are associated with higher and lower cycling injury risk. It examined the association between bicyclists’ injuries and the cycling environment (e.g., route types, intersection types). Taking place in Toronto and Vancouver between May 2008 and November 2009, the participants were adults who were injured while bicycling and who attended hospital emergency departments for treatment. Five hospitals recruited participants, 690 in total.
Summary of the results:
Summary of the results:
Of the 690 injured cyclists in the study, 59% were male. The injury trips were mainly on weekdays (77%), less than 5 km long (68%), and for utilitarian purposes (74%). Of the injury events, 72% were collisions (with motor vehicles, route features, people, or animals) and 28% were falls.The Results have also been published in thwo peer reviewed articles:
We found that route infrastructure does affect the risk of cycling injuries. The most commonly observed route type was major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. It had the highest risk. In comparison, the following route types had lower risks (starting with the safest route type):
cycle tracks (also known as “separated” or “protected” bike lanes) alongside major streets (about 1/10 the risk) residential street bike routes (about 1/2 the risk) major streets with bike lanes and no parked cars (about 1/2 the risk) off-street bike paths (about 6/10 the risk)
The following infrastructure features had increased risk:
streetcar or train tracks (about 3 times higher than no tracks) downhill grades (about 2 times higher than flat routes) construction (about 2 times higher than no construction)
Personal and trip characteristics associated with safety equipment use by injured adult bicyclists: a cross-sectional study:
The aim of this study was to estimate use of helmets, lights, and visible clothing among cyclists and to examine trip and personal characteristics associated with their use. Using data from a study of transportation infrastructure and injuries to 690 adult cyclists in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, we examined the proportion who used bike lights, conspicuous clothing on the torso, and helmets on their injury trip. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine associations between personal and trip characteristics and each type of safety equipment. Bike lights were the least frequently used (20% of all trips) although they were used on 77% of trips at night. Conspicuous clothing (white, yellow, orange, red) was worn on 33% of trips. Helmets were used on 69% of trips, 76% in Vancouver where adult helmet use is required by law and 59% in Toronto where it is not. Factors positively associated with bike light use included night, dawn and dusk trips, poor weather conditions, weekday trips, male sex, and helmet use. Factors positively associated with conspicuous clothing use included good weather conditions, older age, and more frequent cycling. Factors positively associated with helmet use included bike light use, longer trip distances, hybrid bike type, not using alcohol in the 6 hours prior to the trip, female sex, older age, higher income, and higher education. In two of Canada's largest cities, helmets were the most widely used safety equipment. Measures to increase use of visibility aids on both daytime and night-time cycling trips may help prevent crashes.
Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study
We compared cycling injury risks of 14 route types and other route infrastructure features. We recruited 690 city residents injured while cycling in Toronto or Vancouver, Canada. A case-crossover design compared route infrastructure at each injury site to that of a randomly selected control site from the same trip. Of 14 route types, cycle tracks had the lowest risk (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02, 0.54), about one ninth the risk of the reference: major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. Risks on major streets were lower without parked cars (adjusted OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.96) and with bike lanes (adjusted OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.29, 1.01). Local streets also had lower risks (adjusted OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.31, 0.84). Other infrastructure characteristics were associated with increased risks: streetcar or train tracks (adjusted OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.8, 5.1), downhill grades (adjusted OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.7, 3.1), and construction (adjusted OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.3, 2.9). The lower risks on quiet streets and with bike-specific infrastructure along busy streets support the route-design approach used in many northern European countries. Transportation infrastructure with lower bicycling injury risks merits public health support to reduce injuries and promote cycling.
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