Injuries caused by mountain bikes experienced a 56 percent significant drop, according to a new national study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Although the injuries declined significantly, the US emergency departments are still treating around 15,000 cases each year. Recent developments and progress in bike technology contributed to the decrease in injuries.
The study was conducted from 1994 to 2007, a period of 14 years. In 1995, 23,000 mountain bike-related injuries were reflected. It dropped dramatically to just 10,000 reported injuries in 2007.
According to Lara McKenzie, the principal investigator of the study, “The large decline we found in mountain bike-related injuries is likely due to a combination of factors.”
“While some of the decline may be explained by a decrease in the number of people riding mountain bikes, there have also been a number of improvements to the bicycle design, such as disc brakes and dual suspension systems, that give the rider greater control of the bike and may help to reduce the incidence of injuries,” she added.
According to the study, the common and most frequent injuries were fractures (27 percent), soft tissue injuries (24 percent) and lacerations (21 percent). Commonly injured body parts include the upper and lower extremities and the shoulder and clavicle. The most common causes of injuries are falls, which accounted for 70 percent of the total accidents, and being thrown off the bike.
The findings may help improve bike technologies further and prevent future bike-related injuries.