04 Jul 2008 10:42:00.000
A lifelong cycling enthusiast and PhD student at The University of Nottingham has launched an investigation into Nottinghamshire cycling accidents.
Phil Miller, who commutes by bicycle every day to the School of Community Health Sciences, will spend the next two years researching incidents involving over 200 victims of bicycle collisions and compare them with over 700 volunteer commuter cyclists. He will be assessing the association between various characteristics of the two groups and their risk of collisions involving other road users.
Although cycling is a source of fitness and fun Phil wants to discover how to make it safer.
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Phil said: “Regular cycling is an efficient and eco-friendly means of transport which also brings significant health benefits. However, despite the fact that the risk of accidents is low and falling in the UK, many people are cautious about getting out of their car and onto a bike. Many more people could be encouraged to cycle if it were demonstrated that they could adopt simple measures to minimise their risk of accidents.”
Phil’s research will be based on admissions to the Emergency Department at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. He is also wants to hear from other cyclists who are willing to fill in a questionnaire about their regular journey to or from work.
Many local businesses, large and small, have volunteered to help by allowing researchers to approach their staff who cycle to work — but more are needed.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents 146 cyclists were killed on the countries roads in 2006; 2,296 were seriously injured; 13,754 suffered minor injuries. The Department for Transport (DfT) calculate that the numbers killed or seriously injured on their bikes has dropped by 37 per cent from the 1994-98 average. The DfT’s policy document ‘Tomorrow’s Roads — Safer for Everyone’ states this is possibly because fewer people are cycling regularly.
Phil will be looking at the cycle experience, weekly amount of cycling and training, possession of a driving licence, history of accidents and the use of safety equipment such as helmet, lights and reflectors. He will also investigate attitudes to risk, the route taken on the day of the accident, weather conditions and light levels, the number of cyclists using the same route, purpose of journey and the location of the accident.
This information will help build a detailed picture of the characteristics of the accident and non-accident groups. In turn Phil hopes this will shed light on what appears to play a significant part in reducing the risk of accidents.
Nottingham University Hospital’s Emergency Department and the School of Community Health Sciences at The University of Nottingham are collaborating on a study.
Frank Coffey is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Research Lead for the Emergency Department at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. Mr Coffey said “As well as treating injuries the Emergency Department has a strong commitment to injury prevention and health promotion. Cycling is a great form of exercise. We are very pleased to be collaborating in a study that will provide new evidence to help to educate cyclists on how best to minimise their risk of injury”.
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Notes to Editors
: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.
Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy).
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.