UBC Undergraduate Research

The Classification and Analysis of 300 Cycling Crashes that Resulted in Visits to Hospital Emergency Departments in Toronto and Vancouver Frendo, Theresa


Although many benefits of cycling exist, the injuries often deter people from this sustainable mode of transportation. As part of the Bicyclists’ Injuries and Cycling Environment study, interviews were conducted with 300 injured cyclists who visited the emergency department of one of 5 hospitals in Toronto or Vancouver. This paper classifies the crashes based on their circumstances and analyzes selected characteristics with a particular interest in city and demographic comparisons. Crashes were broadly classified as collisions (72%) or falls (28%) and as involving motor-vehicles (48.3%) or not. Injured cyclists in Toronto more frequently collided with streetcar tracks (Odds Ratio: 21.0) or vehicle doors (OR: 3.96), and less frequently collided with pedestrians or animals (OR: 0.29) than those in Vancouver. In a multiple logistic regression model comparing the odds of a crash being a collision versus a fall, collisions were more common in Toronto (OR: 3.50) than Vancouver, on trips to work or school (OR: 4.66) than trips for other purposes, and for injured females (OR: 1.69) than injured males. In a second model, motor-vehicle involvement was found to be more common among injured cyclists less than 30 years old (OR: 2.00) than those who were older, and on trips to work or school (OR: 2.89) than for other purposes. The use of drugs or alcohol was not significantly related to the crash circumstances. Variations in crash circumstances between cities suggest that modification of infrastructure could improve safety and increase the number of cyclists.

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