Cyclists getting tripped up? 0
University of B.C. report finds more than one-in-four cycling emergency room visits are from people falling off their bikes. (FILE PHOTO)
More than one-quarter of injured cyclists arriving at emergency departments in Vancouver and Toronto hurt themselves falling rather than crashing into anything, according to a University of B.C. study.
Prof. Kay Teschke plans to examine why 28% of cycling injuries are from people tumbling from bikes, since UBC data published last week in the American Journal of Public Health suggests the reasons could range from cyclists dodging cars to shopping bags being caught on wheel spokes.
“Sometimes it was a malfunction of the bike, or it’s braking too hard, or when they’re cornering they lost balance,” Teschke told 24 hours Sunday.
“Some of them got clipped into ‘toe clips’ and couldn’t get their feet out quickly enough. Some people might have something caught on their wheels, shopping bags for example.”
Meanwhile, the same report highlights collision risks — as rainy weather rolls in with fewer daylight hours — from cyclists not wearing bright clothing during the autumn and winter seasons.
People are wearing white, orange, yellow or red clothing on just 33% of bike trips, while bike lights were only used 20% of the time.
“People don’t seem to know that issue. It seems we only focus on helmets in Canada.”
The report found Vancouver cyclists were using helmets on 76% of trips.
The study analyzed 690 cycling injuries in Vancouver and Toronto from 2008 to 2009. Among other things, it found “physically separated bike lanes,” like many in Vancouver’s downtown, carry the lowest injury risk for cyclists.