Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Streetcar tracks blamed in one-third of Toronto bike accidents

Date:
October 26, 2012
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
Researchers have confirmed what many cyclists in Toronto have long believed – that streetcar tracks are involved in nearly one-third of bicycle accidents.

Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have confirmed what many cyclists in Toronto have long believed -- that streetcar tracks are involved in nearly one-third of bicycle accidents.

Related Articles


A study published in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health, found the greatest risk to cyclists occurs when they share major streets with parked cars and no bike lanes -- like Dundas or King Streets -- where there is a heightened risk of injury from moving cars and car doors opening.

However, 96 of the 690 crashes studied in downtown Toronto and Vancouver directly involved streetcar or train tracks. Eighty-seven of those accidents were in Toronto, accounting for 31.5 per cent of all bike accidents in the city that led to an injury that required a visit to an emergency department.

"Safety should be a primary consideration in decisions about how we design transportation systems in Toronto and this study has direct implications for a transportation strategy," said Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael's Hospital, who helped design, perform and report on the research.

The lead author of the study was Kay Teschke, a professor in the University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health.

"Thus far, safety has not been mentioned in the debate about the GTA's future transportation plans. Safety needs to be of at least equal or greater importance to other issues when we are making difficult decisions about transportation strategies."

The research project found that of the accidents involving tracks, 19 cyclists (19.8 per cent) said their tires slipped on the tracks and 77 (80.2 per cent) said their tires got caught in the tracks.

Routes designed for cyclists -- including bike lanes on major streets without parked cars, residential street bike routes, and off-street bike paths -- carry about half the risk of being injured on a randomly selected point on their journey, the study found.

Cycle tracks -- physically separated bike lanes -- have the lowest injury risk for cyclists, about one-ninth the risk.

Dr. Glen Bandiera, head of the Emergency Department at St. Michael's, estimates that in the summer, four or five patients arrive in the ER every day after a bicycle incident. The most common injuries are wrist fractures and shoulder dislocations from people using their arms to break their fall.

St. Michael's was one of four hospitals in Toronto and Vancouver whose patients were tracked in the study.

The study also provided an interesting snapshot of who is being injured in all cycling accidents in the two cities: Most are men (59 percent), between the ages of 19 and 39 (62 per cent), who are regular cyclists (88 per cent) and completed post-secondary education (75 per cent).

Most were cycling to or from work or school (42 per cent) on a weekday (78 per cent) in daylight (77 per cent) and good weather (92.5 per cent). It found 68.3 per cent were wearing helmets, although that figure reflects the fact it's mandatory for adults to wear helmets in British Columbia, but not in Ontario.

The single largest cause of bike accidents in the study was a collision with a motor vehicle (33.5 per cent).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kay Teschke, M. Anne Harris, Conor C. O. Reynolds, Meghan Winters, Shelina Babul, Mary Chipman, Michael D. Cusimano, Jeff R. Brubacher, Garth Hunte, Steve M. Friedman, Melody Monro, Hui Shen, Lee Vernich, Peter A. Cripton. Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study. American Journal of Public Health, 2012; e1 DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300762

Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Streetcar tracks blamed in one-third of Toronto bike accidents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121026125017.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2012, October 26). Streetcar tracks blamed in one-third of Toronto bike accidents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121026125017.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Streetcar tracks blamed in one-third of Toronto bike accidents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121026125017.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Sharks are hauled ashore every day at a busy market on the central Indonesian island of Lombok, the hub of a booming trade that provides a livelihood for local fishermen but is increasingly alarming environmentalists. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Bicycle Infrastructure Can Reduce Risk of Cycling Injuries by Half, Canadian Study Finds

Oct. 18, 2012 Certain types of routes carry much lower risk of injury for cyclists, according to a new study. The study analyzed the cause of 690 cycling injuries in Vancouver and Toronto from 2008 to 2009 and ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins