Bicycle Injuries: Good News and Bad


By Charles Pekow — The good news: despite increased use of bicycles, the injury rate has been declining in the United States. So says a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research. Data are limited, however, says the study, “National Incidence and Trends of Bicycle Injury”. The report covered the decade between 2012 and 2021 and noted that bicycle use accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.

An injured rider ies on the ground after being hit by an SUV in Dublin. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The bad news: the numbers remain high, with an estimate of 4,666,491 bicycle-related trips to emergency rooms over the period. Perhaps most alarming is that the rate has been increasing among the elderly, who suffered mainly head and upper body injuries.

Even so, males and younger people were most likely to get hurt. As one would expect, injuries “occurred most often during summer months (36 percent) and on weekend days (31.9 percent).”

Broken bones accounted for the largest share of injuries and the higher up in the anatomy, the more likely the trauma. Since so many head injuries occurred, the authors call for helmet use and “bicycle safety initiatives.”



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