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Teens on Wheels and Consequences: A Six-Year Population-Based Study of Bicycle and Moped Injuries
Introduction Road traffic accidents are a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in the pediatric and adolescent population. Among adolescents, bicycles and light motorized two wheelers are popular means of transportation and increase adolescents' autonomy. Most previous studies on injury risk and incidence have pooled different vehicles and age groups together but more distinct data are required to guide policy.
Materials and Methods We gathered data on all 1,432 children and adolescents (age 7–15) who had been treated for injuries from bicycle(n = 841) or moped/motorized scooter (n = 591) accidents at our study centers during a 6-year period (2008–2013). In addition to clinical data, we reviewed Injury Severity Scores (ISS) and calculated incidence estimates for the population of 15-year-olds in the study area.
Results Most bicyclists were injured after a fall (72%), whereas most moped/scooter riders were injured in a collision (51%), most often with a heavier motorized vehicle. Internal injuries, multiple injuries, and severe injuries (ISS >15) were more common among moped/scooter riders than bicyclists (p < 0·001 for all). Moped/scooter riders were more often hospitalized and underwent more operations than bicyclists (p < 0·001 for both). The annual estimated incidence rates of injury were roughly eightfold for 15-year-old moped/scooter riders compared to bicyclists of the same age.
Conclusion Cycling is in general a safe mode of transportation and rider safety could be further increased with the proper use of helmets. Although no patient deaths occurred in this study population, mopeds and motorized scooters led to significant morbidity.
Received: 09 September 2019
Accepted: 27 April 2020
11 June 2020 (online)
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