Bicycle accidents and injuries: a pilot study comparing hospital- and police-reported data

Accid Anal Prev. 1990 Feb;22(1):67-78. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(90)90008-9.


Bicycle accident and injury data collected by two different samples of North Carolina hospital emergency rooms during the summers of 1985 and 1986 are examined and compared with state police-reported bicycle accident data for the same time periods. Of the 649 emergency room treated bicyclists, 62% were children aged 5-14 and 70% were male. Nineteen percent of the riders suffered moderate or worse injuries (AIS greater than or equal to 2), and 6% were hospitalized. In contrast, less than half of the police-reported accidents involved riders under 15 years of age, 85% of the riders were male, and two-thirds suffered moderate or worse injury. Whereas virtually all of the police-reported accidents involved a motor vehicle, less than a fifth of the emergency room cases did. Only 10% of the emergency room cases were duplicated on the state accident files. It is estimated that 800 children ages 0-19 are hospitalized annually in North Carolina for bicycle-related injuries, and an additional 13,300 children receive emergency room treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Bicycling*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • North Carolina
  • Pilot Projects
  • Records
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Control, Formal
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*