Estimated total costs from non-fatal and fatal bicycle crashes in the USA: 1997–2013

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Abstract

Introduction

Emergency department visits and hospital admissions resulting from adult bicycle trauma have increased dramatically. Annual medical costs and work losses of these incidents last were estimated for 2005 and quality-of-life losses for 2000.

Methods

We estimated costs associated with adult bicycle injuries in the USA using 1997–2013 non-fatal incidence data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System with cost estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Injury Cost Model, and 1999–2013 fatal incidence data from the National Vital Statistics System costed by similar methods.

Results

Approximately 3.8 million non-fatal adult bicycle injuries were reported during the study period and 9839 deaths. In 2010 dollars, estimated adult bicycle injury costs totalled $24.4 billion in 2013. Estimated injury costs per mile bicycled fell from $2.85 in 2001 to $2.35 in 2009. From 1999 to 2013, total estimated costs were $209 billion due to non-fatal bicycle injuries and $28 billion due to fatal injuries. Inflation-free annual costs in the study period increased by 137% for non-fatal injuries and 23% for fatal injuries. The share of non-fatal costs associated with injuries to riders age 45 and older increased by 1.6% (95% CI 1.4% to 1.9%) annually. The proportion of costs due to incidents that occurred on a street or highway steadily increased by 0.8% (95% CI 0.4% to 1.3%) annually.

Conclusions

Inflation-free costs per case associated with non-fatal bicycle injuries are increasing. The growth in costs is especially associated with rising ridership, riders 45 and older, and street/highway crashes.

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