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New Study Shows Rising Medical Costs from Bicycle Injuries

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The study, which was published in June 2017 in the journal Injury Prevention, indicated that crashes and fatalities have been steadily increasing over the past ten years. Researchers used non-fatal incidence data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 1997 ­– 2013, cost estimates from the Consumer Productive Safety Commission’s Injury Cost Model, and fatal incidence data from the National Vital Statistics System from 1999 ­­– 2013 to reach their conclusions.

Their analysis showed that a total of about 3.8 million non-fatal bicycle injuries and nearly 9,900 deaths occurred during the study period. From 1999 to 2013, total estimated costs were $209 billion due to non-fatal bicycle injuries, and 28 billion due to fatal injuries. When comparing the costs over the span of the study period, they found that they increased by 137 percent for non-fatal injuries and 23 percent for fatal injuries. Non-fatal costs associated with injuries to riders 45 and older increased by 1.6 percent annually.

The researchers concluded that the overall costs associated with bicycle injuries are increasing, especially with riders 45 and older. In 2013, nearly 54 percent of the total costs of accidents were due to riders 45 and older, up from 26 percent in 1997.

Researchers suggested that the rise could be due to more commuting by bicycles and changes in motor vehicle traffic. “Many of these injuries are preventable with safer roads,