March 15, 2004

Drowning deaths far outnumber Bicycle deaths

The number of US cyclists killed in 2000: 693
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data)

Number of US accidental drowning deaths in 2000: 3,482
(Centers for Disease Control figures)

According to Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

The first automobile crash in the United States occurred in New York City in 1896, when a motor vehicle collided with a pedal cycle rider (Famous First Facts, by Joseph Kane).

More than 47,000 pedalcyclists have died in traffic crashes in the United States since 1932 — the first year in which estimates of pedalcyclist fatalities were recorded. The 350 pedalcyclists killed in 1932 accounted for 1.3 percent of the 27,979 persons who died in traffic crashes that year.

In 2001, 728 pedalcyclists were killed and an additional 45,000 were injured in traffic crashes. Pedalcyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities, and pedalcyclists made up 1 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.

The number of pedalcyclist fatalities in 2001 was 14 percent lower than the 843 fatalities reported in 1991. The highest number of pedalcyclist fatalities ever recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) was 1,003 in 1975. Pedalcyclists accounted for 13 percent of all nonmotorist traffic fatalities in 2001.

Pedestrians accounted for 85 percent, and the remaining 2 percent were skateboard riders, roller skaters, etc. “The 728 pedalcyclist deaths in 2001 accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities during the year.”


According to the Center for Disease Control web:
Water-Related Injuries


In 2000, there were 3,482 unintentional drownings in the United States, an average of nine people per day. This does not include those who drowned in boating-related incidents (CDC 2002).

Occurrence and Consequences

* For every child who drowns, six receive emergency department care for near-drowning or non-fatal submersion injuries. Half of those seen in the emergency department require hospitalization (CDC 2002).

* Nonfatal incidents can result in serious injuries including brain damage.

* According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 4,355 people were reported injured and 701 were killed in boating incidents during 2000. Among those who died, 8 out of 10 were not wearing personal flotation devices, also known as life jackets (USCG 2001).

Groups at Risk

* Males: In 2000, males accounted for 79% of those who drowned in the United States. (CDC 2002)

* Children 1 to 14 years of age: In 2000, 943 children ages 0 to 14 years died from drowning (CDC 2002). While drowning rates have been declining slowly over time (Branche 1999), it remains the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 (CDC 2002).

* African Americans: In 2000, the overall age-adjusted drowning rate for African Americans was 1.4 times higher than for Whites (CDC 2002). However, differences were observed by age. African American infants under one year had a drowning rate 2.9 times that of White children (CDC 2002). Many of these drownings occurred in bathtubs and household buckets. Among children 1 to 4 years of age, African Americans have a lower drowning rate than Whites; drownings in this age group typically happen in residential swimming pools. African American children ages 5 to 19 years drowned at 2.4 times the rate of White children in this age group in 2000 (CDC 2002). As children get older, drownings occur more often in open water areas such as ponds, lakes, and rivers.

Risk Factors

* Children under age one most often drown in bathtubs, buckets, and toilets (Brenner et al. 2001).

* Among children ages 1 to 4 years, most drownings occur in residential swimming pools (Brenner et al. 2001). Most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time (Present 1987).

* Alcohol use is involved in about 25% to 50% of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation (Howland et al. 1995 and Howland & Hingson 1988). Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat (Smith & Kraus 1988).

Posted by mkreig at March 15, 2004 10:22 PM