Bicycles have become incredibly popular in recent years. Not only can they help you get in shape, but also they are eco-friendly, save you money, and are cheaper and sometimes more convenient than cars. However, bicycles may come with a major disadvantage. Recent studies show that bicycle accidents are the number-one cause of traumatic brain injuries each year.
Football has recently come under fire because of the link between concussions sustained on the field and neurological diseases in later life, but bicycle injuries are far more common. According to statistics generated by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, approximately 86,000 of the 447,000 sports-related head injuries in 2009 were caused by bicycle accidents or collisions. This equates to about 20%. In the same year, football injuries accounted for approximately 47,000 injuries, or roughly 10%. Baseball injuries made up about 38,000 of the total 447,000, which is approximately 8%.
Part of the reason bicycle injuries are so common is because so many people ride their bicycles without wearing helmets. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, approximately 90% of all 2009 bicycle crashes involved a bicyclist who was not wearing a helmet. The majority of the victims were middle-aged men.
People choose not to wear helmets for a variety of reasons. Some people don’t like the way they look with the helmets on their heads, whereas others don’t believe they will be injured because they only bike during the day or only bike short distances. However, as the above statistics show, this cavalier treatment towards bicycle safety can have devastating consequences.
In addition to wearing a helmet, bicyclists can take another important safety precaution to avoid bicycle injuries: riding in a marked bicycle lane. Research shows that cities with marked lanes for bicycles have approximately 40% fewer bicycle accidents.
Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident, you should consult a personal injury lawyer immediately. The attorneys at The Pearce Law Firm can help you determine who bears responsibility for the accident and whether or not you will be entitled to recover any damages.