According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, bicycle accidents account for a significantly higher percentage of sports-related head injuries than football. This is surprising given that football typically dominates the head injury discussion. In fact, cycling is the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries in this country. This is also true of sports-related head injuries in children younger than 14. While bicycling is an exceptionally healthy, environmentally friendly activity, its wholesome image may mislead people into feeling invincible when on a bike.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2013, 743 bicyclists were killed and 48,000 were injured in crashes with motor vehicles. When cyclists collide with a car or truck, their risk of serious injury and death skyrockets if they are not wearing a helmet. Approximately 90 percent of bicycle riders killed nationwide are not wearing a helmet. There is currently no federal law that requires the use of bicycle helmets, although many states and localities have their own laws. Most of these laws apply to children under the age of 18, however, there are certain laws that pertain to all ages. Although many states do not require the use of bicycle helmets for adults, the decision to wear one should not be taken lightly. Your chance of escaping serious head injuries and death is directly related to your choice to wear a helmet.
Tips for Preventing Head Injuries While Cycling
Always wear a helmet
Use designated bike lanes (riding in bike lanes reduces serious injury and death by 40 percent)
Wear bright and reflective clothing
Use a headlight if bicycling at night
Obey traffic laws and signs
Use hand signals to indicate turns
Use extra caution in intersections
Keep your bike in proper working order at all times
Do not ride in adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall, sleet, ice, or snow
Use extra caution in construction work zones
Never ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Following the above tips will help you prevent more than just head injuries. Thousands of cyclists are injured every year, from minor sprains and scrapes, to broken bones, brain damage, and death. Using caution, obeying traffic rules, wearing a helmet, and educating yourself about bicycle safety will greatly reduce your risk of serious injury and death.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a bicycling accident involving a motor vehicle, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced personal injury attorney without delay. In our many years of experience we have seen a number of clients come into our office not knowing if they had a case or not, and many times they do. The areas of law around bicyclist accidents is constantly changing. For example a bike rider recently came into our office and was injured as a result of someone opening their car door into him causing him to fall off his bike and suffer a serious injury, we are in the process of getting him all the benefits he is entitled to. Our skilled attorneys have been representing accident and injury victims for nearly 50 years. Our dedicated team understands the physical, emotional, and financial ramifications bicycle accidents can have. The compassionate attorneys at Altman & Altman will help facilitate medical care, deal with the insurance companies, and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman LLP for a free consultation about your case.