Bicycle safety for children and young people : an analysis of child deaths in Queensland

Fraser, E., McKeever, R.S., Campbell, L., & McKenzie, K. (2012) Bicycle safety for children and young people : an analysis of child deaths in Queensland. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 23(2), pp. 14-19.

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Bicycle riding can be a positive experience for children and young people that builds confidence, independence and promotes healthy recreation. However, these benefits are dependent upon safe bicycle riding practices. Between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2011, 12 children and young people under the age of 18 years died in bicycle incidents in Queensland. An additional 1736 bicycle-related injuries requiring emergency department attendance are estimated to have occurred between 2008 and 2009 in Queensland for children and young people under the age of 18 years.

Of the twelve bicycle-related deaths between 2004 and 2011 in Queensland, two children were aged between 5-9 years, 5 young people were 10-14 years of age and 5 young people were between 15-17 years. The two children aged 5-9 years were riding their bikes for recreation. Children aged 10-14 years were most likely to have been killed in an incident while riding to school in the morning, with teenagers aged 15-17 years most likely to be killed in incidents occurring after school and in the evening.

Bicycle riders are vulnerable road users, particularly children and young people. This is due to several factors that can be grouped into:

1) developmental characteristics such as body size and proportions, perceptional and attentional issues, road safety awareness and risk taking behaviours, and

2) environmental factors such as supervision and shared road use with vehicles.

This paper examines safety issues for children and young people who have died in bicycle-related incidents in Queensland, and outlines areas of focus for injury prevention practitioners.

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ID Code: 53093
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: Bicycle riding , bicycle incidents , bicycle-related deaths
ISSN: 1832-9497
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Australasian College of Road Safety
Deposited On: 13 Aug 2012 22:38
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2013 09:59

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