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J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:487681. doi: 10.1155/2012/487681. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Environmental determinants of bicycling injuries in Alberta, Canada.

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Departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3B 6A8.


This study examined environmental risk factors for bicycling injuries, by combining data on bicyclist injuries collected by interviews in the emergency department (ED) with street-level environmental audits of injury locations, capturing path, roadway, safety, land use, and aesthetic characteristics. Cases were bicyclists struck by a motor vehicle (MV) or with severe injuries (hospitalized). Controls were bicyclists who were not hit by a car or those seen and discharged from the ED, matched on time and day of injury. Logistic regression odds ratios (ORs) adjusted for age, sex, peak time, and bicyclist speed with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated to relate injury risk to environmental characteristics. Factors contributing to MV events included greater traffic volume (OR 5.13; 95% CI [1.44, 18.27]), intersections (OR 6.89; 95% CI [1.48, 32.14]), retail establishments (OR 5.56; 95% CI [1.72, 17.98]), and path obstructions (OR 3.83; 95% CI [1.03, 14.25]). Locations where the road was in good condition (OR 0.25; 95% CI [0.07, 0.96]) and where there was high surveillance from surrounding buildings (OR 0.32; 95% CI [0.13, 0.82]) were associated with less severe injuries. These findings could be used by bicyclists and transportation planners to improve safety.

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