A study into the rate of cycling injuries in the Australian state of Victoria has found the the number of injuries described as cycling related rose signigicantly between 2001 and 2006, but that the number of reported cycling accidents did not change. Despite the rise in the numbers of hospital recorded cycling injuries the study concludes that the trend towards cycling is a positive one.
The study was based on data supplied by hospitals, those needing to be admitted rose by 16 per cent. This equated to an average of 5,200 cycling injuries per year, reported road crashes involving cyclists ran at a steady 1200 cyclists per year throughout the study period. The discrepancy is most likely down to the fact the hospitals are counting all cycling injuries, on and off road whereas road traffic statistics will only include those accidents either reported to the police or to which they were called.
It's also worth noting that while the number of people hospitals recorded as being injured whilst cycling went up dramatically the numbers of serious injuries rose, but less dramatically injuries and deaths remained either static or showed much smaller rises.
The report's authors also note that the study has no way of measuring the actual numbers of cyclists on Victoria's road except anecdotally and by noting that bicycle sales have outstripped car sales for nine years nor does it have any data on the distances ridden by Victorian cyclists it cannot give an accurate assessment of whether cycling has got more or less safe in the Australian state. One of the doctors that produced the report, Mirjana Sikic, a trainee in emergency medicine at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne told thewest.com that while “the data from hospitals showed bike-related injuries had “increased significantly“, but this was in line with growing bike ownership and there was no evidence to show an increase in road dangers.”
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.