Bicycling is a common source of sports-related head injuries

Bicycling is a common source of sports-related head injuries

Riding a bicycle is such a common activity that many people do not think about the dangers. Often laws allow bicyclists to choose whether to wear helmets. Bicycle accidents may not receive as much attention as football or hockey injuries, but perhaps they should. Bicycle accidents are a major cause of head injuries.

Research shows that bicycle accidents cause far more traumatic brain injuries than football injuries do. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons says that emergency rooms saw 447,000 head injuries related to athletics in 2009. Of those, 86,000 were connected to bike accidents, 47,000 were from football injuries and baseball had a hand in about 38,400 injuries.

    In children younger than age 14, cycling was the leading cause of head injuries from sports. The 40,200 injuries children received from cycling was about double the number they received from football.

    Some of the larger numbers has to do with the fact that bicycles are so common. But a doctor says that people tend to take fewer precautions with bicycles than they might with other sports. About 90 percent of people killed while riding bike in 2009 were not wearing helmets, for example. In addition, bicycle accidents often happen when bikers are hit by cars or other motor vehicles.

    Bicyclists can reduce their risk of head injuries by wearing helmets and taking basic safety precautions. Follow the rules of the road, choose safer streets for riding and use a bike lane if one is available.

    Source: The New York Times, " Really? Cycling Is the Top Sport for Head Injuries," Anahad O'Connor, June 3, 2013

    • Our law firm represents clients who have received brain injuries in the Los Angeles area. For more information, visit our bicycle accidents page.

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