Bicycle Accidents Increase with Pastime’s Growing Popularity

September 25, 2015

A recent report released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows an increase in bicycle accident-related injuries over recent years. Since 1998, hospital admittance for cyclist injuries has more than doubled. The dominant demographic was male cyclists over 45.

Central Florida has seen an uptick of more than 50 percent in reports of bicycle accidents as well. Law enforcement received calls on 486 bicycle accidents in 1998, and 736 calls in 2013. Unfortunately, Florida is also the most dangerous of all the states. More than a hundred people die every year while riding their bicycles in Florida according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Why Is Cycling More Dangerous?

The lead author of the report by JAMA, Dr. Tom Sanford, says that he and his colleagues “don’t think cycling has become more dangerous, inherently.” It is quite clear that the primary factor in the growing rate of injury and death is the equally rapid increase in cyclists. Riding a bike has become exponentially more common in recent years.

Bicycles are an increasingly popular mode of transportation among adults. Riding to work, university, or to do small errands has become more favorable for their environmental and personal fitness benefits.

Central Florida is the perfect environment for riding a bicycle. The weather, which is favorable most of the year, and the number of dedicated bike trails and bike shops make central Florida an even more popular place for riders. Unfortunately, more cyclists on the road means a greater likelihood of cycling accidents.

Dr. Sanford said in response to reactions to the JAMA report: “We don’t want to discourage anyone from cycling. It’s a tremendously healthy activity. It’s low impact. It decreases the number of cars on the roads… but bicycling has risks. Infrastructure, such as bike paths, is a key portion of decreasing the number of injuries.”

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