The number of emergency room visits due to bicycle-related injuries has risen sharply in recent years, according to researchers. American and Australian researchers collaborated on this injury study that was recently published in Injury Prevention, a medical journal. The alarming findings of this study throw into sharp relief the critical importance of wearing safety gear, most notably, helmets.
Bicycle-car accidents: a look at the numbers
The researchers used data available from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. The data reflected injuries that were reported from 1997 through 2013. Separate, but related data were collected from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and its Injury Cost Model. Cross-referencing these data revealed that, from 1997 to 2013, there were 3.8 million non-fatal injuries caused during cycling. These were sustained during 9,839 bicycle accidents. These statistics only reflect bicycle accidents involving adults, not children. Head trauma was an injury of particular concern.
For the second component of their study, the researchers used the Injury Cost Model to determine that the non-fatal bicycle accident injuries during this time period cost approximately $209 billion. Another $28 billion in costs was attributed to bicycle accidents that resulted in death.
Separate evidence substantiates this survey. Earlier in 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report that indicated that the second quarter of 2016 marked a continuous increase in fatalities over the previous seven consecutive quarters.
The risks of head trauma in bicycle accidents
Bicycle crashes can result in a varied range of injuries, including facial trauma, avulsed teeth, broken bones, lacerations, and road rash. One of the most serious injuries common among cyclists is head trauma. All of these injuries are more likely and can be more severe when a bicycle accident involves an impact by a car or truck.
Traumatic brain injuries are particularly troubling because of the potential for long-term or lifelong complications. Head trauma can lead to seizures, reduced mobility, cerebrospinal fluid buildup, paralysis, cognitive deficits, personality changes, and degenerative brain diseases.
One of the most effective ways to save lives and prevent or minimize head trauma among cyclists is the consistent use of properly fitted helmets. Research indicates that cyclists are nearly 60% more likely to live through head trauma if they were wearing a bicycle helmet at the time. The National Trauma Data Bank, a service of the American College of Surgeons, collected the records of 6,267 patients who reported brain trauma from bicycle crashes. The bicyclists who were wearing helmets had a 58% reduced risk of being diagnosed with a severe, life-altering traumatic brain injury. They were also 59% more likely to live.
Legal advocacy for injured cyclists
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have earned a sterling reputation for effective and compassionate legal representation during the 60-plus years we’ve been serving families on Long Island. We understand the challenges personal injury victims face when trying to get their lives back on track despite substantial medical debt. Our Long Island bicycle and car accident lawyers are readily accessible to answer your questions about your case. Call today to request an initial case review.
Additional “bicycle-car accident lawsuit” resources:
- Injury Prevention, Estimated total costs from non-fatal and fatal bicycle crashes in the USA: 1997–2013, http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2017/04/24/injuryprev-2016-042281
- Reuters, Helmets prevent severe head injuries in bike accidents, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-bicycles-helmets-idUSKCN10U1LY