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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 487681, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/487681
Research Article

Environmental Determinants of Bicycling Injuries in Alberta, Canada

1Departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3B 6A8
2Department of Emergency Medicine and School of Public Health, University of Alberta and 1G1.50 Walter Mackenzie Centre, 8440–112 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2B7
3Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4Z6

Received 18 September 2012; Accepted 25 October 2012

Academic Editor: Chris Rissel

Copyright © 2012 Nicole T. R. Romanow et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

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.