A new study that found collisions with moving cars pose the biggest risk of serious injuries for young cyclists is bolstering the call for separated bike lanes in the city.
Preliminary data from a University of Calgary study, which looked at data collected from emergency rooms in Calgary and Edmonton from 2008 to 2010, found that cyclists who collided with moving vehicles were nearly four times more likely to suffer severe injuries than cyclists who had other types of accidents.
The findings lend support for more separated bike lanes, said Health Sciences student Jackie Williamson, a researcher on the study and a cyclist herself.
“This is definitely speaking volumes. If you are four times more likely to have a severe injury after being hit by a motor vehicle, then we need to be cautious about where our bikers are in relation to motor vehicles,” Williamson said.
“Certainly being in an exposed area is putting people at risk.”
About 40,000 Calgarians ride a bicycle for transportation regularly in the spring, summer and fall, according to Bike Calgary.
The new study looked at children and adolescents less than 18 years old. Over a two-year period, 1,470 young cyclists were seen in emergency rooms in Calgary and Edmonton because of bike injuries. Of those, 87 were injured because they collided with moving vehicles, and 20 of those had to be hospitalized for a severe injury — a proportion nearly four times higher than for any other type of accident.