“Beebe Reports Surge in Serious Bicycle Injuries” Early last month Beebe Hospital issued a press release reporting an increase in serious injuries from bicycle crashes in May and June in its emergency department for those months compared to 2018. Local press outlets in Sussex County ran with the story, not infrequently choosing alarming headlines like…
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“Beebe Reports Surge in Serious Bicycle Injuries”

Early last month Beebe Hospital issued a press release reporting an increase in serious injuries from bicycle crashes in May and June in its emergency department for those months compared to 2018. Local press outlets in Sussex County ran with the story, not infrequently choosing alarming headlines like the one above.

Other than that they were serious enough to merit a trip to Beebe's emergency room, we otherwise know nothing about these crashes. Where did they happen? What were the circumstances? Are there any common patterns or themes? Is this just normal statistical fluctuation? (Beebe reported in 2018 that bicycle crashes were way down compared to 2017.)

The best source of information to answer these questions are police crash reports. These reports are not available to the public but they are available to traffic safety agencies. Within days of Beebe's press release, Bike Delaware asked the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) to pull all the police reports and conduct an analysis. OHS agreed and will present their work, and any conclusions, at the next meeting of the Delaware Bicycle Council on Wednesday, August 5.

The Delaware Bicycle Council (DBC) is the state's commission on cycling, consisting of 7 public members (including Bike Delaware's executive director) appointed by the Governor and 8 members representing various state agencies (DelDOT, the Delaware State Police, the Office of Highway Safety, DNREC, DHSS, Department of Education) and commissions (the Council on Transportation and the Council on Greenways and Trails). The DBC meets every other month in Dover. The agenda for their August 5th meeting is here.