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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/19184

Title: Exposure measurement in bicycle safety analysis. A review of the literature
Authors: Vanparijs, J.
Int Panis, Luc
Meeusen, R.
de Geus, B.
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Background: Cycling, as an active mode of transportation, has well-established health benefits. However, the safety of cyclists in traffic remains a major concern. In-depth studies of potential risk factors and safety outcomes are needed to ensure the most appropriate actions are taken to improve safety. However, the lack of reliable exposure data hinders meaningful analysis and interpretation. In this paper, we review the bicycle safety literature reporting different methods for measuring cycling exposure and discuss their findings. Methods: A literature search identified studies on bicycle safety thatincluded a description of how cycling exposure was measured, and what exposure units were used (e.g. distance,time,trips). Results were analyzed based on whether retrospective or prospective measurement of exposure was used, and whether safety outcomes controlled for exposure. Results: We analyzed 20 papers. Retrospective studies were dominated by major bicycle accidents, whereas the prospective studies included minor and major bicycle accidents. Retrospective studies indicated higher incidence rates (IR) of accidents for men compared to women, and an increased risk of injury for cyclists aged 50 years or older. There was a lack of data for cyclists younger than 18 years. The risk of cycling accidents increased when riding in the dark. Wearing visible clothing or a helmet, or having more cycling experience did not reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. Better cyclist-driver awareness and more interaction between car driver and cyclists, and well maintained bicycle-specific infrastructure should improve bicycle safety. Conclusion: The need to include exposure in bicycle safety research is increasingly recognized, but good exposure data are often lacking, which makes results hard to interpret and compare. Studies including exposure often use a retrospective research design, without including data on minor bicycle accidents, making it difficultto compare safety levels between age categories or against differenttypes of infrastructure. Future research should focus more on children and adolescents, as this age group is a vulnerable population and is underrepresented in the existing literature.
Notes: Meeusen, R (reprint author), Vrije Univ Brussel, Fac Phys Educ & Phys Therapy, Dept Human Physiol, Brussels, Belgium romain.meeusen@vub.ac.be
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/19184
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2015.08.007
ISI #: 000363348000002
ISSN: 0001-4575
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2016
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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