Bicycle Injuries in
Your National Parks
CDR Sara Newman
LT Jennifer Cheng-Dobson
Public Risk Management Program
National Park Service
USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium 2012
June 20, 2012
Overview
• Background
• Bicycle injuries in the National Park
Service (NPS)
• Prevention strategies in parks
• Case examples
National
NationalPark Service Regions
Injuries in the U.S.
• Injury is the leading cause of death
among persons ages 1-44 (2007)
• 1 person dies from injury every 3 min
• > 2.8 million hospitalized each year
• > $406 billion in medical costs and lost
productivity
CDC. www.cdc.gov/injury/overview/leading_cod.html. 2007
Bicycle Injuries in the US (2010)
• 618 fatal
– 87% male
– 64% between ages 25-64 years
• 51,000 non-fatal
– 80% male
– 51% between ages 25-64 years
• $4 billion/yr
NHTSA www.bicyclinginfo.org 2009
"If
a disease were killing our
children at the rate unintentional
injuries are, the public would be
outraged and demand that this
killer be stopped."
-C. Everett Koop,
US Surgeon General 1982-1989
Injuries in our national parks
• On average 3 visitors die in our parks
every week*
• An average of 14 people are seriously
injured in our parks every day
Source: GPRA 2005-2011 * Due to Unintentional Injuries or Accidents
Distribution of Injuries
• 100% of fatal injuries reported
by 55 parks (2011)
• 97% of injuries reported by 100
parks (2011)
Source: PMDS 2011* Due to Unintentional Injuries
Demographic of Visitor Injuries
• 76% male, 17% female (7% unk)
NPS Fatal Visitor Injuries, by Age, FY2011*
30
24
Number of Fatalities
25
20
21
20
18
17
15
13
10
5
4
0
10 and under
11-21
22-34
35-44
Age Group
PRMP Visitor Injury Data System
N=117, Unknown = 38
45-54
55-64
65+
Unintentional Visitor Fatalities, by
Cause, FY2011
0
10
20
30
50
60
70
64
Drowning
29
Motor vehicle crash
28
Fall/Slip
17
Natural/Environmental
Wildlife/Animal
40
4
PRMP Visitor Injury Data System
N=155
Bicycle Injuries in NPS
Brenna Woziak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2011
NPS Bicycle Fatalities
•
•
•
•
2007-2011: 12 bike related fatalities
83% male
75% between the ages of 25-65
25% involved collision with a motor
vehicle
Studying three national parks
• George Washington Memorial
Parkway, Mount Vernon Trail
(VA/DC/MD)
• Cape Cod National Seashore (MA)
• Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National
Historic Park (DC/MD/WV)
• Others: Saguaro (AZ), Golden Gate
(CA), Rock Creek Park (DC/MD)
Bicycle Injury Results
• Bicycle injuries were the leading cause
of injury at each park
• Fatal bike injuries at one park
• More females than males at Cape Cod
• Between 56%-71% between ages 25-64
Prevention Strategies – 3E’s
• Engineering
• Enforcement
• Education
National Park Service Mission
“ …to conserve the scenery and the natural
and historic objects and wild life therein
and to provide for the enjoyment of the
same in such manner and by such means as
will leave them unimpaired for the
enjoyment of future generations.”
Title 16 Chapter 1, Section 1
Organic Act of 1916
Park Service Challenges
• Multiple types of terrains
–
–
–
–
Trails (paved and not)
Roads
Trails crossing roads
Uneven pavement
• Can’t always meet industry standards
• Multiple jurisdictions
• Limited environment control
George Washington Memorial Parkway,
Mount Vernon Trail (DC/MD/VA)
Charles Opalak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2010
City of Alexandria Junior Bike Ambassadors
George Washington Memorial Parkway, VA/DC/MD
Trail ride with a
ranger
Charles Opalak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2010
Mutual outreach at Trail
Days
Trail Days – Mount Vernon Trail
George Washington Memorial Parkway, VA/DC/MD
Education
Bike bell installation
Brochures and maps
Charles Opalak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2010
2010 Trail Pledges & Contact Cards
George Washington Memorial Parkway, VA/DC/MD
Charles Opalak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2010
Bicycle Safety at the Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore, MA
Brenna Woziak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2011
Cape Cod National Seashore, MA
Brenna Woziak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2011
Cape Cod National Seashore, MA
Brenna Woziak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2011
Bicycle Safety at the Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore, MA
Brenna Woziak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2011
Bicycle Safety at the Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore, MA
Brenna Woziak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2011
Safety Signs
Cape Cod National Seashore, MA
Brenna Woziak. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2011
Successful Prevention Strategies
Haleakala National Park, HI
Sara Newman, 2007
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
Luke Hamilton. PRMP Visitor Safety Intern, 2009
Safe is Sound
• Reduced injuries by
83% in target areas
• Removed poles
blocking road
• Extended rails on
trails
• Enhanced education
to cyclists
Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 2012
Data Limitations/ Challenges
• Incomplete injury data
• No injury rates
• Lacking detailed and accurate visitation
data
• Lack of dedicated staff in public risk
management
Summary
• Injury prevention in the national parks
provides a unique challenge
• Combining the 3E strategy has worked
• More effective strategies result from
better data
Next Steps
• Enhance data
• Focus on program evaluation
Acknowledgements
•
•
•
•
•
Charles Opalak
Brenna Woziak
Brian Werner
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
Haleakala National Park, HI
CDR Sara Newman, DrPH, MCP
[email protected]
(202) 513-7225
LT Jennifer Cheng-Dobson, MPH
[email protected]
(202) 513-7219
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