Bicycling injuries and mortality in Victoria, 2001-2006

Med J Aust. 2009 Apr 6;190(7):353-6. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02446.x.


Objective: To investigate the incidence of bicycling injuries and bicycle injury characteristics in the Victorian population.

Design: Review of prospectively collected data.

Setting: Bicycling injury data were extracted from four datasets for the period July 2001 to June 2006: (i) emergency department (ED) presentations from the Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset; (ii) hospital admissions from the Victorian Admitted Episodes Data Set; (iii) major trauma cases from the Victorian State Trauma Registry (VSTR); and (iv) deaths from the National Coroners Information System.

Main outcome measures: The profile and incidence of bicycling injuries across the datasets and years.

Results: In the 5 years, 25 920 bicycle-related ED presentations were recorded, 10 552 bicyclists were admitted to hospital, 298 bicycling injuries were classified as major trauma (VSTR), and there were 47 bicycling fatalities. From 2001 to 2006, the incidence of bicycle-related ED presentations (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.37-1.48), hospital admissions (IRR = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.09-1.23) and major trauma (IRR = 1.76; 95% CI, 1.22-2.55) increased significantly. Most of those injured were males, aged < 35 years, with road-related injuries. Patients classified as having major trauma had a significantly higher incidence of trunk and head/face/neck injuries compared with those presenting to an ED or admitted to hospital.

Conclusion: The incidence of serious bicycling injury has risen over recent years, highlighting the need for targeted prevention programs. Accurate data on cycling participation, use of injury prevention strategies, and injury profiles would assist in reducing bicycle-related injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bicycling / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Victoria / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Young Adult