Topping a rundown of 422 products, not including the automobile, the bicycle presents “the greatest threat of injury to the American public.”
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, gleaning data from a computer network linking 119 hospital emergency rooms, found that bicycle injuries number about 372,000 annually. This data did not include the presumably high additional number of bike casualties treated in doctors’ offices.
Bike accidents reported included such injuries as concussions, fractures, cuts, amputations, and broken teeth. They were commonly caused by faulty brakes, broken pedals, loose wheels, damaged steering gear, feet caught in spokes, and the practice of riding double.
The other top ten hazards of the year were, rated in order: stairs, ramps, and landings; nonglass doors, including swinging and folding garage doors, which close on arms and legs; cleaning agents and caustic compounds; tables whose sharp edges and corners can cut and break; box-spring and frame beds, which users fall from or set afire; unorganized football; protruding bolts and weak ladders; fuels such as gasoline, kerosene, and charcoal starters; and glass doors which users fall or slip through and walk into.
The Commission estimates that consumer products injure 20 million Americans yearly. Alton Thygerson, Department of Health Sciences, Brigham Young University