A workout is a great way to maintain and improve your health. Cycling is an awesome way to do it, but it can also be a roller coaster. At one point, you’re having the ride of your life, and then the next you feel like you’re going to die while riding. Most cyclists will suffer from bicycle accident injuries at some point in their riding career, but not all are at risk. Some people are more likely than others to experience an injury.
Two percent of traffic-related deaths and injuries in the United States are attributed to bicycle accidents. This is a small percentage when looking at all traffic accidents. But try considering how many people ride bicycles every day. It becomes obvious that bicycle safety is extremely important.
Before we talk about the actual bicycle accident injuries, let’s look at the basics of bicycle accidents.
Occurrences and Statistics
Bicycles are relatively safe vehicles, but if they get into an accident with a motor vehicle, the cyclist is injured much more often. Smaller bicycles are no match for larger motor vehicles, which can cause severe injuries and even death to cyclists. While it is hard to determine exactly how safe or unsafe riding a bicycle in the United States is, there is some data we can use to be safer on two wheels.
The time between 6 pm and 9 pm is the most dangerous time for an accident to occur. Bicycle accidents happen most frequently in urban areas. Males are more likely to die as a result of a bicycle accident than females, especially men who are under 20 or over 24 years old.
When it comes to the factors of bicycle accident injuries, alcohol consumption is one major issue. The blood alcohol concentration of a bicyclist who died in an accident is 0.8 grams per deciliter. That number is higher than the legal limit allowed in all 50 states. Although this factor is well known, there is a larger problem that goes unrecognized — it’s negligence.
To help make the road safer for cyclists, it takes a community effort. Following the rules and communicating with each other are key ways to do so. One of the simplest ways is using hand signals when riding or alerting another person about a potential danger ahead.
In the past 12 years, commuting to work by bicycle has increased by 64%. People are biking for cost-effectiveness and a reduced environmental footprint, yet this strategy also comes with a risk of serious injuries.
It’s no secret that biking has become more popular in recent years, but not everyone knows that 817 cyclists were killed on the road in 2015. That is 13% greater than in 2014, and it marks the highest number of deaths since 1995.
However, while deaths have been on the upswing, it’s important to recognize that far more injuries are common among bicyclists. These injuries can range in severity from scrapes to traumatic brain injuries that require a personal bicycle accident attorney‘s help.
Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents can cause anything from minor to major injuries. Fortunately, most of these are really only strains, contusions, fractures, lacerations, and abrasions, among other things.
If you fell off a bicycle without wearing the proper safety gear, road rash may occur. This will often leave superficial abrasions on your skin. In most cases, road rash is easy to clean up. However, if you notice bruising, swelling, difficulty moving, pain, or a lack of movement, you may have a more serious injury.
If you’re feeling pain near or in a bone, don’t take some advice from an untrained individual. If you’re wondering if you broke a bone, imaging is your best bet for confirmation. Never guess — allaying health concerns is important.
Elbow pads are an essential part of riding a bicycle, whether you are an expert or a beginner. It’s natural to assume that experts can go without elbow pads, but this is never the case. Whether you are new to biking or have been doing it for years, the conditions you face when you’re out bicycling cannot be predicted.
Elbow pads like the JBM BMX bicycle Knee Pads and Elbow Pads are a necessity for any rider who wants to properly protect themselves from possible bicycle accident injuries.
Traumatic Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents cause different kinds of injuries, and the most serious ones are traumatic injuries. This type of injury occurs when a person is directly involved in an accident that results in injury. While not all bicycle accidents result in traumatic injuries, they are by far the most devastating. Common traumatic injuries include contusions, concussions, skull fractures, and cranial hemorrhaging.
There may be disruptions in your musculoskeletal system as well. These can cause issues such as strains and dislocations, or even more severe injuries like hernias. Additionally, though they are less common, injuries like renal contusions, facial fractures, and dental fractures can also occur. You’ve got to watch out for bowel contusions, ruptured spleen, rib fractures, and pancreatic trauma as well.
For some riders, the risk of serious harm is incredibly high. Riders who impale themselves on their handlebars often suffer fatal bicycle accident injuries. In one case, a rider’s pelvis was fractured, while another suffered rectal trauma.
One can also fracture or break their femur, hip, ankles, or any bone in their body. Eye injuries can still happen, even if they are not as common as other injuries. But if you wear protective eyewear, you’re less likely to suffer from an eye injury.
Injuries from biking accidents are often caused by the sun or just general fatigue. When we cycle during the sunrise and sunset hours (during rush hour) in the fall and winter, we are susceptible to dangerous sun glare. Cycling apparel needs to have a feature that blocks out harmful rays. We highly recommend the Tifosi Alliant Sunglasses for superior eye protection.
Tifosi’s Alliant sunglasses eliminate glare in all light conditions, ensure an individualized fit, and come with three different lens options to go with the weather, all while protecting your eyes from UV rays.
Another wonderful feature of the Tifosi Alliant sunglasses is their hydrophilic rubber construction. On a hot day when the lenses become sweat-slick, the hydrophilic rubber increases the grip of these sunglasses so they remain in place.
Head Bicycle Accident Injuries
Wearing a helmet while riding your bicycle is incredibly important. A study of injured bicyclists by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that head injuries occur in 22% – 47% of all injured bicyclists. These are serious and potentially long-term problems, and 60% of these people will never fully recover.
While many people think of the neck when bringing up a bicycle accident, the truth is that this area is much less common as a site of injury than other areas such as the head and limb. In fact, an injury on the neck due to bicycle accidents is quite rare.
To protect your head, you need a good cycling helmet that is not only there to protect you, especially your head, from serious bicycle accident injuries, but shouldn’t get in your way as well. It shouldn’t limit your field of vision or slide off as you ride. Well, we know one such bicycle helmet that can do this – the Giro Bexley MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet.
The Bexley MIPS Urban Cycling Helmet from Giro is a breakthrough in helmet technology, offering everything that you’ll ever need — from protection to style, to functional features.
You should really be wearing a helmet when you ride your bicycle. Otherwise, you could severely hurt or kill yourself in an accident. A bicycle is no match for a motor vehicle; it won’t help in an accident if you’re broadsided by a car. It’s hard to know what will happen when you’re biking. But you can reduce the chance of getting a severe injury or dying if you have a helmet.
As stated above, there are many different types of injuries you can receive while cycling. A few of them, like accidents, often result in serious injury. However, you could prevent other injuries if you know how to take care of yourself better like wearing protective cycling gear.
If you’re an avid cyclist, you’re likely to get some type of injury. To prevent that from happening, incorporate the great tips above. Most importantly, be extra cautious when cycling on the road. You could avoid accidents and injuries altogether by being smart and safe while you bicycle. Have a safe ride!