When a bicyclist gets knocked to the ground, especially if a vehicle is involved, there is a strong possibility that the person is going to suffer various injuries. However, there are accidents between vehicles and other cyclists, as well as pedestrians.
According to CDC, more than a thousand bicyclists died and nearly 467,000 were injured in 2015. Additionally, 2010 statistics show that deadly and non-fatal crash-related injuries to cyclists lead to past and future medical costs and productivity losses totaling $10 billion.
The following article is an overview of the most common bicycle injuries and how to avoid them:
A common injury that bicyclists experience is broken bones. If cyclists are thrown off their bike, the easiest type of injury they will face is a broken bone due to little protection besides a helmet. If an accident involves a car, the broken bones can be even more severe and can result in life-altering injuries.
The following are the common bones that are broken in bicycle accidents:
There are many types of fractures you may suffer in a crash and they all often require medical treatment and therapy. The type of bone fracture a victim sustains in a collision will often affect the treatment he or she needs and could also determine how long the recovery may take.
Common types of bone fractures include:
- Closed fracture – When the bone breaks but doesn’t puncture the skin
- Open fracture – When the bone breaks through the skin, which can increase the risk of a deep bone infection
- Displaced fracture – The bone snaps and moves in a way that the ends are not lined up straight
- Nondisplaced fracture – The bone remains aligned despite breaking
- Comminuted fracture – This type of fracture happens when the bone is broken into several pieces
Severe fractures suffered in bicycle accidents can have serious consequences if not treated immediately. Blood vessels, nerves, or bone tissues can potentially become infected.
Another common bicycle accident injury is a head injury. Studies show that every year the estimated number of bicycling head injuries requiring hospitalization exceeds the total of all head injury cases related to football, baseball, horseback riding, ice hockey, and lacrosse.
Most head injuries are the result of fatal bicycle accidents – especially in collisions involving motor vehicles. According to the Children’s Safety Network, over 61% of motor vehicle collision deaths involving bicyclists were due to head injury.
So what is the problem? Not wearing a helmet. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than 60% of bicycle accident deaths involved bicyclists who were not wearing a helmet.
While millions of Americans ride bikes, less than 50% of them wear helmets. Non-helmeted cyclists are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash those sporting helmets when they ride.
Furthermore, kids who wear their helmets tipped back on their heads have a 52% increased risk of head injury compared to those who properly wear their helmets. Wear the helmet level so that it covers your forehead. You should have a gap the size of about two fingers between the front edge of the helmet and your eyebrows.
Since extreme heat will degrade the material inside the helmet and compromise its protective ability, do not store your helmet in direct sunlight and try to minimize the amount of time you have to leave your helmet in your car.
If you experienced a crash, replace the helmet since it will not effectively protect your head if you are involved in another collision. In addition, replace it every five years or so.
“Road rash” – also known as “road burn,” “scrape,” or “strawberry” – occurs when a bicyclist falls or slides on the ground and friction scrapes off layers of skin. The majority of cyclists have experienced this type of injury at least once in their lifetime.
These skin abrasions can range from minor to serious, but even less severe road rash can be due to the nerve endings being exposed, as well as dirt and debris getting trapped in the skin. Minor road rash is still vulnerable to infection, while severe cases can result in permanent scarring and disfigurement, requiring immediate medical treatment.
Let Our Pocatello Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help Today!
If the bicycle accident that caused your road rash was another person’s fault, you have the right to recover compensation to pay for medical bills and lost wages. May, Rammell & Wells is ready to help you obtain the maximum amount of damages possible.
Contact us and schedule a consultation for more information today.