Mega star Bono was seriously injured in a biking accident last year, placing the spotlight on the perils of cycling. Read More.
A recent study by researchers at UC San Francisco (UCSF), published in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, reveals that recent high-profile bike accidents – among them Secretary of State, John Kerry, 71, and rocker/philanthropist Bono, 55 – are part of a growing trend. USA Today Story
It is commonly known that overall injuries and hospitalizations related to bike accidents has increased dramatically since the 1990s, but the new study shows an especially big surge in injuries among riders over age 45.
In fact, UCSF researchers – using data routinely collected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission from emergency rooms nationwide – found that, when comparing 1998 and 1999 to 2012 and 2013:
- Bike injuries increased from 96 to 123 per 100,000 adults, a 28% increase. Most often injured: arms and legs, with a significant spike in head injuries
- Hospitalizations after bike injury increased from 5.1 to 11.2 per 100,000 U.S. adults, a stunning 120% rise.
- The percentage of injuries in people over age 45 grew from 23% to 42%, with the rate of hospitalizations involving the older group increasing from 39% to 65%.
A recent National Household Travel Survey showed that the majority of the increase in bicycling between 1995 and 2009 came from Americans older than 25, with the most significant increases coming from older groups. NPR Story
The boom in older cyclers can be attributed to simple demographics. Urban cycling has become de rigueur in recent years – a trend that has occurred while the U.S. shifts to an older demographic.
“These injury trends likely reflect the trends in overall bicycle ridership in the United States, in which multiple sources show an increase in ridership in adults older than 45 years,” the authors of the study said. The authors also say their findings reveal the need for more safe riding practices and better infrastructure to prevent cycling-related injuries.