Take A Deeper Look At Common Bike-Related Accident Injuries
Bicycle riding has become a very common form of transportation for Americans. Not only does bike riding provide an inexpensive form of exercise, but it also serves as a popular form of recreation and as a practical mode of transportation. In fact, the Washington, D.C., ranks high among America’s most bike-friendly cities.
Unfortunately, bicycles offer no protection between riders and the outside world. This makes riders vulnerable to a wide variety of crash scenarios. As a result, hundreds of people are killed every year in bike/vehicle collisions, and tens of thousands are injured. Some of these injuries are rather minor, while others are extremely serious and leave victims with long-term disabilities. The most serious injuries clearly seem to occur when bike riders and motorists are traveling at higher speeds.
Most Common Bicycle Accident-Related Injuries
- Soft tissue injuries – Includes damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout the body. These are not always felt right away, but may become noticeable a short time after a bike accident. Some areas of the body most vulnerable to these types of injuries include joints, such as ankles, wrists, elbows, and the pelvis. Muscle contusions (bruises), sprains, strains, and inflammations (tendonitis or bursitis), can also occur.
- Bone breaks – The arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis are a few common bones that are fractured in accidents. Compound breaks may require multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitative therapy.
- Crushing injuries – Being run over by a vehicle can cause serious crushing injuries on the torso, arms, legs, or other portions of the body. This could result in amputations, paralysis, or other long-term disability.
- Head injuries – The most serious types of accident injuries. They account for more than 60% of the bike accident death rate and long-term disabilities for riders. Some head injuries can result in blindness, memory loss, loss of cognitive function, or even a loss of fine motor skills.
- Permanent scarring from road rash – Scrapes, abrasions, and surface wounds that result from sliding across the pavement after being thrown off of a bike. Skin can be permanently removed in the most severe cases, and the underlying tissue can be damaged.
- Neck and spine trauma – These injuries are most commonly found after bike collisions with motor vehicles.
Although some of these injuries are typically minor in nature, they do have the potential to be quite serious. Bicycle safety is the first step in preventing a serious injury from happening to you. By doing everything you can to ride safely and responsibly, you decrease the likelihood of being injured in an accident.
However, you can’t control or predict how motorists will behave on the road. So, watch out. Stay alert on the road, wear the proper protective gear, and always follow the traffic laws pertaining to bicycles.
Do you have any specific injury prevention tips that have been helpful to you? Please feel free to share in the contact portion of our site.