"Cyclists pay heavy toll on roads
* April 6, 2009
CYCLING injuries have soared in Victoria in recent years, but it is not clear whether the activity is becoming more dangerous or just more popular.
Research by doctors at The Alfred hospital and Monash University found the number of cyclists at emergency departments between 2001 and 2006 had risen 42 per cent, hospital admissions by 16 per cent and major trauma by 76 per cent.
The study, in The Medical Journal of Australia, found that almost 26,000 cyclists were treated in hospital emergency departments over the five years. Of this number, more than 10,000 were admitted and 47 people died.
But the authors warned that they had not been able to source accurate data on the number of people cycling in Victoria to see if this had increased in line with injuries.
The research did find that most fatal injuries happened between 5am and 8am and between 5pm and 8pm, and that wearing helmets reduced the risk of serious head injury.
Males under 35 were most likely to suffer injuries, but fatalities were more evenly represented, with 55 per cent involving people aged over 35. They authors called for more tracks that separate cyclists from cars.