Las Vegas, Injury Lawyer, CPSC-Bike, Reserch, Bike Dangers

by Las Vegas, Personal Injury Lawyer, Howard Roitman
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Las Vegas Injury Lawyer Research CPSC US Government Bike Danger Study

Background

Bicycle riding is one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States.

The National Sporting Goods Association (1992) estimates that bicycle riding was the third

leading U.S. recreational activity in 1991, after exercise walking and swimming. In addition,

bicycle riding is an important means of transportation. The Bicycle Institute of America (1993)

estimates that there were about 4.3 million Americans who regularly commuted to work in

1992.

Bicycle riding is also a risky activity, as indicated by the large numbers of injuries and

deaths involving bicycles every year. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety

Commission's (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), an injury

reporting system that consists of a statistical sample of the nation's hospital emergency rooms,

there have been about one-half million nonfatal bicycle-related injuries treated in hospital

emergency rooms every year since the early 1970s, when NEISS became operational. When

other medically-attended injuries are counted, such as injuries treated in physicians' offices,

there may be on the order of one million medically-attended injuries involving bicycles every

year. In addition, there are as many as 1,000 bicycle-related fatalities annually. The estimated

costs of these injuries and deaths to society are high -- approximately $8 billion annually -- and

suggest that injury reduction strategies with even modest levels of effectiveness could prove to

be cost-effective.

The CPSC has long had an interest in bicycle-related hazards and in promoting bicycle

safety. The agency began development of a mandatory standard for bicycles as one of its first

orders of business in 1973. The bicycle standard, which became effective in 1976,

1

set safety

requirements for reflectors, wheels and tires, chains, pedals, braking and steering systems, and

for structural components such as frames and forks. More recently, the Commission has

provided a substantial amount of information on bicycle safety to the public and encourages all

riders to use helmets.

2

Bicycle safety is also promoted by many other governmental and non-governmental

organizations, and is of considerable interest to the health and safety research community. In

1991, Congress passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), an act

that required all states and metropolitan planning organizations incorporate programs and

facilities for bicyclists in their transportation plans. Also in 1991, the Department of

Transportation's (DOT) Appropriations Act instructed DOT to develop a plan to promote

bicycling and walking, and to enhance the safety of these transportation modes.

The interest of the health and safety community in bicycle safety is evidenced by the

large number of professional publications in the safety and medical literature. For the most

part, however, the published literature on bicycle hazards consists of injury analyses carried out

at the level of the individual hospital or in limited geographical areas. While these studies

provide valuable information about injury characteristics in various localities, there has never

been a comprehensive national study of bicycle use and hazard patterns designed to quantify

riding patterns and the rider and environmental factors associated with risk. Moreover, while

injuries resulting from bicycle-motor vehicle collisions have been evaluated extensively (Cross

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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