In the U.S., there are approximate nine million bike trips taken every day. With a nationwide shift to more ecologically friendly practices, adults everywhere have been opting to leave their cars at home and hop on their bikes. However, the recent rise of adults biking has also lead to an increase of biking injury and death, reports Alabama Public Radio.
According to a new study posted in American Medical Association’s JAMA publication, bike injuries resulting in hospitalizations have more than doubled between the years of 1998 and 2013. The report found that injuries had increased by 28%, while hospital admissions jumped up by 120%. This spike was highest in bikers aged 45 years or older, which jumped by 81% during the study period.
”After Lance Armstrong had all of his success at the Tour de France, a lot more people were riding, and there were a lot more older riders that took up the bicycle for sport,” said lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Breyer, associate professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco. ”If you consider a 65-year-old who falls off their bike exactly the same way a 25-year-old does, the 65-year-old is going to sustain more injuries.”
In another study published in August, assistant scientist Jason Vargo examined the increase of adult ridership. The report, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that the number of fatal cycling accidents has now shifted from children to adults.
”As cyclists in the U.S. shift to an older demographic, greater attention is needed in injury prevention measures,” said Breyer. He believes that more focus should be given to “improved infrastructure, such as bike lanes, use of personal protective equipment, such as helmets, as well as improved rider and motorist education.”
Experts also suggest that bikers know the rules of the road, and that drivers know how to be cautious of bikers.