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Eight cyclists injured in morning of accidents

The Age: Eight cyclists injured in morning of accidents

MEGAN LEVY
March 3, 2010 - 4:33PM

A cyclist has sustained a punctured lung and seven others have been injured in eight separate bike accidents on Melbourne's roads today.

Cyclists were left with broken arms and collarbones after the accidents, seven of which occurred during the morning peak hour.

The spate of bike accidents follows another three last night, which left three children hospitalised.

Intensive care paramedics Rohan Miniken said the most serious crash occurred about 8.30am when a 48-year-old man fell from his bike onto tram tracks in Commercial Road at Prahran.

"He struck his head on the road but thankfully was wearing a helmet," he said.

"The helmet had significant damage, and if he wasn't wearing that he probably would have fractured his skull.

"The man has bruising and swelling to his side and may have fractured some ribs and has a collapsed lung."

The cyclist was given pain relief and fitted with a neck brace before being taken to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition.

In a separate accident, a 34-year-old man fractured his arm when he tried to avoid a collision and his tyre became lodged in tram tracks.

He was taken to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition.

Among the other casualties were three people who sustained broken collarbones in separate crashes, while others sustained cuts and bruises.

The crashes come as bicycle sales boom and cycling is promoted as a healthy, environmentally friendly alternative to the car.

A Monash University study in December showed the number of cyclists being seriously injured or turning up badly hurt at Victoria's hospital emergency departments was surging.

In 1999, 1236 cyclists were hospitalised or treated for injuries at emergency departments, the study showed.

By 2007 the figure had leapt to 2294, with more than 700 spending at least a night in hospital.

Men made up about 80 per cent of all recorded injuries.