Injuries to Cyclists due to a Dog–Bicycle InteractionFunding/Support This research was supported in part by the Garceau Professorship Endowment, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Indiana University, and the Rapp Pediatric Orthopaedic Research Endowment, Riley Children's Foundation, Indianapolis, Indiana.
02 June 2017
21 December 2017
21 April 2018 (eFirst)
Background Both dogs and bicycles are common in our society and thus a dog–bicycle interaction resulting in an injury to a cyclist is possible. It was the purpose of this study to investigate such injuries.
Methods The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) data for the 10-year period from 2006 through 2015 associated with bicycles were accessed. Injuries involving dogs were identified and the mechanism of injury determined. Due to the stratified and weighted nature of the NEISS data, statistical analyses were performed with SUDAAN 10 software (RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, United States). A p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results There were 5,184,057 emergency department visits for bicycle-associated injuries; dogs were involved in 35,254 (0.67%) cases. The average age for those involved with a dog was 33.2 years and it was 25.5 years for those in which dogs were not involved. There were more females in the dog group (34.1 vs. 27.6%). Dog involvement increased from ages 0 to 14 years, then decreased until the age of 20 years and then progressively increased. Dog-associated injuries most frequently occurred away from home, involved the knee and distal lower extremity, 49.1% sustaining dog bites. Dog bites were more common in younger individuals. Four injury mechanisms (chased by a dog, hit/collided with a dog, swerved/tried to avoid a dog or riding with a dog) accounted for 97.5% of the injuries. Those chased by a dog were younger, more commonly released from the emergency department, had an injury involving the lower extremity and frequently sustained a bite. The most severe injuries were in those who swerved/tried to avoid a dog or hit a dog.
Conclusions Approximately 1% of injuries to bicyclists are associated with dogs; one-half sustained a bite. Potential/proposed prevention strategies could be educational materials regarding bicycles and dogs to owners, dog restraint, student/parent education and educational materials in waiting rooms of veterinarians, paediatricians, family practice physicians and emergency rooms.
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