In order to promote cycling it is necessary to quantify the consequences for public health of increasing levels of physically active modes of transport, notably walking and cycling.
In order to promote cycling and walking it is necessary to create supportive environmental conditions, settlement patterns, land use planning conditions and public transport infrastructures and services that permit and stimulate a substantial increase in the number of short trips undertaken by these physically active modes of transport.
Alcohol is a major risk factor for fatal and serious bicycle injuries. A US study found that among those killed in the bicycle accidents, one third had positive blood alcohol concentrations, and among those seriously injured, 20% had been riding under the influence of alcohol. Riding a bike requires a higher level of psychomotor skills and physical coordination than driving a car, so alcohol has an even stronger effect on bicyclists than on drivers. In the study, researchers also found that only 5% of the injured who had been drinking wore helmets, and 30% of the injured bicyclists who had elevated blood alcohol levels also had a history of driving while intoxicated citations. Researchers speculate that some probably used bicycles as a form of transportation because their driver's licenses had been suspended.
[CyberCycle] is a prizewinning Internet site prepared by students for the promotion of cycling. At http://library.advanced.org/10333.