Bicycle injuries are a major problem for individuals. Wherever there are motor vehicles and bicycles using the same roads, there is a potential for an accident to occur. People in cars have safety measures like air bags, seat belts and other safety gear, while bikers are more exposed to the road, often only protected by their helmets.
A person hurt by another person while riding their bike may be facing serious issues. There could be medical costs and other damages associated with the accident. Family members may also be facing the problem of their loved one’s wrongful death. It can be tough to determine what to do, and people may not be sure where to turn for help.
The problem of bicycle injuries
Bicycle injuries happen every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that, in 2015, over 1,000 bicyclists died. The CDC also reported 467,000 bicycle injuries for that same year. Although bike travel only accounts for 1 percent of trips in the U.S., the number of crashes is significant. Recent CDC data estimates the cost of these accidents, in both medical costs and lost productivity, to be over 10 billion dollars.
Risk factors in bicycle injuries
While children and adolescents have the highest number of bike accidents, accounting for almost one-third of bicycle accident-related emergency room visits, the greatest number of bike-related deaths happens to older adults. Adults in their 50s have the highest rate of bike accident deaths. This more often affects men, and most accidents happen in urban areas. Up to 37 percent of bicycle accidents has some type of alcohol involvement.
Prevention of bicycle injuries
The CDC does recommend some steps to take to prevent these unfortunate incidents. They recommend bicycle helmets and bicycle helmet laws to protect individuals. Other preventive techniques include bright, reflective clothing and lights. The rider can wear lights or attach them to the bike to increase visibility. Other measures include roadway engineering measures such as bike lanes. Of course, attentive, safe driving helps everyone stay safer on the roadways, so keeping an eye out when you are driving can mean the world to the person on the bike.
If a bicycle accident has affected you or your family, you may be able to receive awards for any damages suffered during the accident, especially if the accident was not your fault.