An Epidemiologic Analysis of Bicycle Injuries at 3 National Parks

Wednesday, June 20
10:45 - 11:15

Speakers:

  • LT Jennifer Cheng, MPH
    Presentation (pptx, 8.63 MB)
  • CDR Sara Newman, DrPH, MCP

This session will provide an epidemiological look at biking injuries including trends and risk factors associated with biking on multi-use rails in three national parks. The information was compiled from case incident report and emergency services data in a Visitor Injury Data System (VIDS) created by the National Park Service (NPS) to describe visitor demographics, location of injuries, and other risk factors associated with bike injuries. The data covers the George Washington Memorial Parkway's Mount Vernon Trail (GWMP) from 2006 to 2010, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (CHOH) from 2001-2010, and the Cape Cod National Park (CACO) from 2005-2010. Although each park is unique with varying priorities and geographic features, the three parks selected all have multi-use trails where biking is a major activity and results in serious injury every year. In 2010, these three locations documented more than 15 million visitors. This study found that although visitors engaged in many types of activities in the park such as hiking/walking, rollerblading, and horseback riding, bicycling is a common activity that results in a major proportion of all injury in the three parks (CACO: 57 percent, GWMP: 84 percent, CHOH: 37 percent). Among other risk factors, the study identified specific high-risk trail areas due to trail terrain, slope, and curvature. Parks are able to use these data to implement educational strategies to target education, enforcement and engineering prevention strategies to improve trail safety. The data can help a broad array of public health planners and practitioners develop strategies to help prevent these injuries.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the visitor demographics, including age, gender and home of residence related to bicycle injuries in these three locations.
  2. Identify specific areas of risk that provide critical data for targeting prevention efforts.
  3. List 3 next steps that can be taken to reduce bike injuries on trails.

Presented by the PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation/Association in Partnership with the University of Maryland School of Public Health and the Indian Health Clinical Support Center (accredited sponsor)

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