Injuries are extremely common in a bicycle accident. Bicyclists are also often more prone to serious injuries and injuries that could prove fatal. Anyone who plans on riding a bicycle in a public roadway should be well aware of the safety precautions that can be taken to prevent serious injuries.
Before we discuss bicycle accident injuries, let us learn more about the accidents and risks involved.
Common Risks and Causes of Bicycle Injuries
When it comes to riding bicycles, data and statistics indicate that there are a few major factors that can put bicyclists at a greater risk of getting injured in the event of a crash. Here are some of the risk factors that could put bicyclists in danger of suffering serious injuries:
- Not wearing a bike helmet
- Failing to obey the speed limit
- Inexperience riding on public roadways
- Use of alcohol and/or drugs
- Mechanical failure
- Losing control of the bicycle
- Negligence or errors on the part of motorists
- Roadway hazards such as potholes, loose gravel, or poor roadway maintenance
- Lack of a bike lane
Some of these factors are entirely preventable. One of the most common causes of bicycle accidents is negligence or carelessness on the part of motorists.
It is important for drivers to remember that bicyclists have rights on the roadway just as they have responsibilities much like the driver of any other vehicle.
For more on your legal rights be sure to also visit our page on California bicycle laws.
Types of Bicycle Injuries
The injuries you may suffer in the aftermath of a bicycle accident could be noticeable right away or it may take a while for symptoms to appear. Often, when you are struck by a vehicle, you may suffer multiple traumatic injuries. While it may be relatively easier to fix your bike or get a new bicycle after your accident, recovering from your injuries is often much more complicated.
Injuries suffered in a bicycle accident may include:
Head injuries: Bicyclists are at risk of suffering severe head trauma ranging from concussions to skull fractures, contusions and bleeding in the brain. More than 60% of bicyclists who are killed in accidents suffer severe traumatic brain injury. It is also estimated that ne in three people who survive a bicycle accident will suffer some type of head injury. Head injuries in bicycle accidents are also linked to higher rates of long-term disabilities.
Face injuries: Bicyclists are at risk of suffering different types of injuries to their face from broken nose and broken teeth to eye injuries that could result in permanent loss of vision.
Musculoskeletal injuries: Some of the most common injuries in bicycle accidents are to the bones and ligaments, which manifest as sprains, joint dislocations and broken bones.
Chest and abdominal injury: When bicyclists are thrown off their bikes, they may suffer broken ribs as well as internal bleeding and organ damage.
Road rash: When bicyclists are dragged on the pavement, they may suffer road rash, which is a skin injury caused by abrasion with road surfaces.
Skin and soft tissue injuries: While cuts and scrapes caused by road rash are often not fatal, deep cuts can cause severe disfigurement and scars that cannot be repaired.
Genitourinary injuries: This refers to injuries to the urethra, vulva, rectum or pelvis. All of these injuries could be extremely painful. Victims may have a long road to recovery.
Broken leg or hip: When a bicyclist falls off the bike after a crash, he or she is very likely to break a leg or hip depending on the manner of fall and the crash impact.
Worst Times to Ride a Bike and Age Group Statistics
In the year 2020, more than 75% of bicyclist fatalities occurred in urban as opposed to rural areas. More bicyclist fatalities occurred in the daylight (50%) than in the dark (45%), dusk (3%) and dawn (2%).
Also, 34% of bicyclist deaths occurred during the summer months (June to August), 26% during the fall (September to November), 23% during the spring months (March to May) and 17% during the winter (December through February).
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, there were 938 bicycle accident fatalities, which accounted for 2.4% of all traffic fatalities during the year.
Over a 10-year period from 2011 to 2020, the average age of bicyclists killed in traffic crashes has steadily increased from 43 in 2011 to 48 in 2020. In 2020, the majority of bicyclists killed (about 87%) and those injured (81%) were males.
The population-based bicyclist fatality rate was seven times higher for males than females, NHTSA numbers show. The bicyclist injury rate was four times higher for males as well.
The largest number of bicyclist fatalities in that 10-year period was in the 60-64 age group. That age group also had the highest fatality rate. The highest bicyclist injury rate by group was the 15-20 age group followed by the 10-14 age group.
Also, in 2020, children 14 and younger accounted for 5% of all bicyclists killed and 13% of all bicyclists injured.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
One of the first steps to take after a bicycle accident is to file a police report. Make sure you obtain a copy of the report for your own records. Secure prompt medical care and attention for your injuries.
Make sure you document your medical journey from day one. This includes doctor's visits, prescription medication, physical therapy visits, etc. Collect as much evidence as possible from the scene of the crash including photos, videos and contact information for eyewitnesses.
Contact an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer who can help protect your legal rights every step of the way.
Getting Legal Help for Your Bicycle Accident
After a bicycle accident, it is important that you focus on recovering from your injuries. The last thing on your mind is paperwork and the details of filing your injury claim.
If you are worried about how much an injury lawyer would cost you, it is important to consider a law firm that works on a contingency fee basis. At the Vaziri Law Group A.P.C, we don't charge you any fees until you recover damages.
Call us today to discuss your case at no cost. Simply fill out the form on this page to schedule your free consultation
Bicycle Accident FAQs
What are the two types of injuries that you can experience in cycling?
Two types of injuries that are most common in a bicycle accident are head injuries and broken bones. While some of these injuries may not be life threatening, they can still result in mounting medical expenses and significant lost income.
What injuries are becoming more and more common with cyclists?
Injuries to the upper and lower extremities are becoming more and more common among bicyclists. Examples of such injuries include contusions, abrasions, lacerations or cuts, strains, sprains and fractures.
Where do bicycle accidents happen most?
Bicycle accidents occur more commonly during the daytime and during the summer months.
What is the cause of most bicycle fatalities?
Head injuries are the most common cause of bicycle accident fatalities. Statistics show that more than 60% of bicyclists who are killed in accidents suffer severe traumatic brain injury.