Bicycling is associated with the risk of accidents and injury just like other forms of transportation. Recently, there has been an alarming trend of escalating fatalities in bicycle-related accidents, prompting heightened safety concerns for bikers everywhere. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2022, there was an 8% increase in the number of cyclists who lost their lives. This worrisome pattern of incidents has left many people wondering what can be done to protect cyclists on the road and reduce the number of collisions.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to serious, life-threatening injuries. Some common bicycle accident injuries include:
A head injury inflicted in a bicycle accident can have serious consequences; from mild concussion to the more serious traumatic brain injuries. In either case, the victim may suffer long-term cognitive and physical impairments.
Facial injuries are also common in bicycle accidents and can be quite severe. Collisions with objects or falls from bicycles may lead to fractures of the nose, jaw and cheekbones, as well as abrasions and lacerations. Facial injuries may have long-term impacts on a person’s appearance.
Neck and Back Injuries
Collision between a cyclist and a motor vehicle or a cyclist falling off the bike can result in injuries on the neck or back. These injuries may range from minor strains to severe spinal cord injuries that could cause paralysis.
Upper Limb Injuries
Shoulder dislocations, fractures, and ligament tears, can occur when a cyclist tries to break a fall with their arms or when they collide with objects or other cyclists. Upper limb injuries cause temporary pain and limited mobility to chronic pain and long-term disability.
Lower Limb Injuries
Bicycle accidents often lead to musculoskeletal injuries of the lower limbs such as the ankle, knee, and hip; which drastically affects victims’ mobility and independence in the long run.
Preventing Bicycle Accident Injuries
To ensure safety and prevent accidents, cyclists should take the following precautions:
Wear a Helmet
A fitting helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85%. When selecting a helmet, make sure you choose one that has independent laboratory certification. This ensures your safety and compliance with all safety regulations and standards; providing you with the best possible protection.
Follow Traffic Laws
Keeping bicycle safety in mind, it’s critical that bicyclists observe the same traffic regulations as motorists do. This includes stopping at stop signs, riding with the flow of traffic, utilizing bike lanes where available and using arm signals to communicate turns. If cyclists follow these guidelines, they can minimize the chances of a crash or injury.
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