The Causes and Effects of Bicycle Accidents
In recent years, people have gravitated towards bicycle riding for a variety of reasons, including recreational exercise, concern for air pollution, the need to save money, and the convenience of avoiding traffic. Unfortunately, bicycle riding can lead to a bicycle accident, causing injury or fatality. Understanding the different causes, types of injuries, and possible prevention methods can help bicyclers avoid a personal injury or wrongful death.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents almost always occur due to some form of negligence. Main causes include a driver’s inability to see a cyclist, a distracted driver, a drunk driver, a reckless driver, a speeding driver, an unsafe lane change, or a driver invading a bike lane.
No matter the cause, bicyclers getting hit by a vehicle could lead to severe injuries or death. In 2015, 818 cyclists died in bicycle accidents, and 45,000 bicyclers suffered injuries.
Not all bicycle accidents are caused by vehicles. A 2012 National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors, lists five other causes, which are cyclists falling, damages in roadways, bicyclists being distracted, and dogs running into bike lanes.
Types of Injuries
No matter the cause, bicycle accidents can lead to severe injuries amongst bicyclists. The most common cause for injury results from riding with high speed. The most common injuries are usually superficial soft tissue injury and musculoskeletal trauma injury. Other common injuries include strains, fractures, and dislocations. These common injuries are determined by deformity, swelling, pain, bruising, or lack of function.
Bicyclists that are hit by vehicles receive the most severe injuries, such as head injuries that lead to long-term disabilities. There are different types of head injuries that riders can suffer from, such as skull fractures, concussions, brain contusions, and intracranial hemorrhage.
To avoid any of the injuries listed above, it’s important to apply prevention methods to increase rider safety. The most important prevention method to avoid severe head injuries is to wear a helmet. Another prevention method is to prepare before getting on the road. Preparation varies depending on the distance being traveled, but some suggestive tips are: to make sure the bike is running properly, tuck shoelaces and pants in, one person per seat, wear protective clothing, and carry miscellaneous items in a backpack. Being aware that bicycle riders must follow the same rules as motor vehicles will help bicyclists remain focused and alert. Some tips are: to drive with traffic in the same direction, to follow street signs, to assume you aren’t visible to drivers, and to not utilize phone when bicycling.
Bicycling is a fun and alternative way to travel but requires safety awareness and understanding of potential risks. All bicyclists should be informed of the different causes of accidents, the different type of injuries, and the different type of prevention methods. Knowledge of these facts could help prevent severe injuries and save lives. Being educated and educating others should be every bicyclist’s top priority. Doing this will contribute to decreased death rates and injuries.
No matter the precautions you take, bicycle accidents can happen to even the safest of cyclists. When they do, the team at Los Angeles Injury Group is here to help. Please call us at (310) 954-7248 for a free consultation to discuss your case.