Identifying High-Risk Built Environments for Severe Bicycling Injuries

The rise of eco-friendly lifestyles has contributed to the increasing popularity of bicycling in the United States (US). However, cyclist crash injuries remain as a serious public health problem. While the number of deaths in traffic crashes has declined significantly over the past four decades (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2012a), the number of injured cyclists increased from 45,000 in 2001 to 49,000 in 2012. The percentage of cyclist fatalities among total traffic deaths increased from 1.7% to 2.2% in the same period (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2012b). Thus, it is important to understand what factors are associated with cyclist injuries, especially severe injuries. While human behavioral factors have been widely investigated as likely causes to cyclist injuries, the exploration of the relationship between built environment and cyclist injury severity is at the initial stage for three reasons. First, built environment factors are typically perceived as indirectly associated with cyclist injury severity, and are either treated as confounders or ignored. Secondly, existing studies of cyclist injury severity tend to overlook cities that have relatively few cyclists, and the variations of cycling risk in different cities that have different levels of bicycling and different built environments for bicycling have not been analyzed. Thirdly, current studies focus primarily on addressing the safety concerns of riding on different types of bicycle infrastructure, while insufficiently examining land use variables and other road design features. This proposed research is aimed at advancing our understanding of the effects of built environment factors on cyclist injury severity by addressing the following three questions: (1) Are built environment and cyclist injury severity correlated? If so, what built environment factors most significantly and importantly contribute to severe bicycling injuries? (2) Are the identified statistical associations varied significantly among cities with different levels of bicycling and different built environments? (3) Are the identified statistical associations different for bicycle crashes that involve no motor vehicle?


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $55693
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium

    University of Washington
    More Hall Room 112
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    University of Washington, Seattle

    Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
    201 More Hall, Box 352700
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700
  • Project Managers:

    Shen, Qing

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Washington, Seattle

    Department of Urban Design and Planning
    Gould 410, Box 355740
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195
  • Principal Investigators:

    Shen, Qing

  • Start Date: 20151216
  • Expected Completion Date: 20161215
  • Actual Completion Date: 20161215
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers
  • Subprogram: Bicycle Safety
  • Source Data:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01629730
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC40
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 22 2017 6:12PM