While we can’t compete with the Dutch in terms of infrastructure for safe bicycling, maximising uptake of head protection will benefit Australians
Bicycling as a mode of transport is being promoted for its health benefits, and more than four million Australians participate in bicycling at some level.1 Unfortunately, with increasing participation there has been a concurrent increase in injury, with 10 552 bicyclists admitted to hospital in Victoria between July 2001 and June 2006.2 Of these patients, 298 had life-threatening trauma and there were 47 fatalities overall. This trend has continued in the 5 years from July 2007 to June 2012, according to Victorian registry and National Coroner’s data, with 615 life-threatening injuries and 50 deaths. Most of the injured bicyclists were male and aged less than 35 years, and crashes were commonly road-related (data accessed by P A C, Sep 2013). Collisions with motor vehicles result in the most severe injuries;3 and head injuries are the most frequent cause of death and long-term disability from bicycle injury.2,4
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