Every year thousands of people in the U.S. sustain head injuries in a number of different ways. Even seemingly small head injuries can result in a concussion or more severe brain damage, making it important to seek medical attention right away after a brain injury accident. As more people take up bike riding as a form of transportation, whether to get more exercise, save money or reduce their carbon footprint, they are at a greater risk of sustaining serious bicycle accident injuries, many of which involve damage to the head. Bicycle head injuries are a serious matter, and the most severe brain injury accidents can leave a person with extreme brain damage. In order to avoid these types of accidents and protect their heads, bicyclists should always take the following precautions:
- Wear a Helmet – One of the most important preventive measures a bicyclist can take is to wear a helmet every time they ride their bike. In 2006, 95% of bicyclists who were killed in an accident were not wearing a helmet. Whether riding at high speeds or alongside larger vehicles on the road, the chances of sustaining severe bicycling injuries in a crash increase significantly when riders do not wear helmets. Even though they are not required by law in every state, a helmet could be the difference between life and death in a bicycling accident.
- Don’t Drink and Ride – According to bicycle injury statistics, drunk cyclists or drivers are the cause of 37% of fatal crashes. It goes without saying that drinking and driving is an extremely dangerous, and illegal, activity that puts all drivers and pedestrians on the roads at risk, but many people tend to think that the same doesn’t apply to drinking and riding a bike. Riding a bike takes a great deal of focus and balance, and when a person’s judgment is impaired they are not able to control their bike as well. This can easily result in them crashing into a large stationary object — such as a vehicle — potentially leading to severe head injuries or death even if they’re wearing a helmet. Bicycles are considered vehicles and therefore must abide by all of the rules of the road that other drivers do, including not drinking and driving.
- Make Yourself Visible – Since many people have started riding their bikes to and from work, they often end up riding back home late and in the dark. Nearly 50% of bike accident deaths occur between 4 p.m. and 12 a.m. As it gets darker out, bicyclists and other pedestrians become increasingly harder for drivers to see. This increases the risk of an accident between cars and bikes that can result in serious injuries. The best way for bicyclists to avoid being hit by a car at night is to make themselves visible. They can do so by wearing bright clothing and putting lights on their bikes.
Biking is a great way to stay in shape and protect the environment, but it can also lead to serious brain injury accident. To protect their heads while riding, bicyclists should keep in mind the safety tips mentioned above.