Bicycle Accident in Texas and Nationally: Causes, Injuries, Prevention

Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 22-Nov-2012

Since 1896, when the first traffic accident in America involved a car and a bike, cyclists and motorists have continued to collide, resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. More than 600 cyclists died on American roads in 2009, and another 51,000 were injured according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Texans seem to be closely aware of the dangers of bicycle accidents in Texas. According to a survey from the University of Texas at Austin, over 70 percent of cyclists felt that bicycling was dangerous because of the risk of traffic accidents.

Cyclists and Brain Injuries

Researchers have found that head injuries are the most common type of serious injury in bicycle crashes, for recreational and professional cyclists alike. As a result, the Medicine of Cycling group released concussion guidelines this past September for cycling athletes.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results when the brain suffers cellular damage from a collision. Such collisions are frequently caused when a motorist hits a cyclist. The obvious difference in size and weight between a car or truck and a bike puts the cyclist much more at risk for injury. Concussions are a common type of TBI and associated symptoms depend on the degree of damage. Loss of consciousness, amnesia, sensory defects, impaired language, reasoning and cognitive skills, and mental health issues can all be caused by accident related concussions.

The prevention guidelines take into account that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of injury, but does not completely prevent the incidence of concussions. One of the key suggestions offered by the medical group is that a cyclist, following any sign of loss of consciousness, stop biking until a TBI trained medical professional evaluate them.

The frequency of Bicycle Accidents

The Medicine of Cycling guidelines can be helpful to non-professionals as well. According to the NHTSA, two percent of the highway-related deaths and injuries in 2009 were linked to crashes involving bicycles. The National Safety Council reports that bicycle-related injuries and death cost the American public about $4 billion annually. Prevention and education, like the newly released guidelines, are key ways to reduce these numbers.

What if You Experience a Bicycle Accident?

As discussed above, seeking appropriate medical attention after a bike accident is crucial, especially for those who experienced trauma to the head. If someone else’s negligence caused the bike accident you may also want to consider contacting an attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate any potential claims and advise you of your options.

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