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The Link Between Cycling and TBI

By Lependorf & Silverstein on November 15, 2019

Bicycling is a popular mode of transportation – for very good reason. It is enjoyable, economical, good for the environment, and the exercise has multiple health benefits. However, there is a link between cycling and traumatic brain injury (TBI) that should not be ignored. If you are a bicyclist, you should be aware of the link between cycling and TBI and take the proper measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from potentially life altering injuries.

Cycling Comes with Risks

Even for experienced riders, cycling can be a risky activity, particularly in urban areas. Bicycles are smaller, lighter, and less visible than passenger vehicles, and cyclists are almost entirely unprotected. Drivers looking for larger vehicles sometimes fail to register a bicycle in the roadway. Distracted driving, DUI, and other negligent driving behavior can lead to serious bicycle accidents that can cause traumatic brain injury, with life-altering consequences or even death.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 783 people in the U.S. were killed in bicycle accidents in the most recent year for which statistics are available. The NHTSA states that a large percentage of bicycle accidents could be avoided if motorists and cyclists followed the rules of the road.

Bicycle Collisions with Motor Vehicles and TBI

Head injury is the leading cause of severe disability and death in bicycle accidents. In a recent study published by the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that collision with a motor vehicle is one of the most critical risk factors for a high level of severity and outcome in bicycle accident head injuries. The most common way that head injuries occurred in bicycle accidents was a fall alone (46.8%). The second most common way was collision with a motor vehicle (42%). Collision with an obstacle, such as a wall or a pole, accounted for 11.2% of bicycle-related head injuries.

Why Is It So Important to Wear a Helmet?

Helmets are to bicyclists what seatbelts are to motorists. This simple, low-cost equipment can go a long way toward preventing traumatic brain injury, or even death. Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of severe TBI by 52% and the risk of death by 44%, as stated in an article in Reuters. Bicyclists wearing helmets are also less likely to suffer broken facial bones.

Invest in a Good Helmet

To reduce your risk of traumatic brain injury, choose the right bike helmet to provide the maximum protection against head trauma. Above all, buy a helmet that fits properly. Select from one of the three basic categories of bike helmets to find the type that matches your riding style. These basic types of bike helmets are:

  • Recreational bike helmet: This is a less expensive choice for casual riding that can provide basic impact protection.
  • Mountain bike helmet: These helmets are well ventilated and typically provide rear head coverage, as mountain bikers are more likely than road bikers to fall backward.
  • Road bike helmet: This lightweight helmet type is designed to be aerodynamic and well ventilated.

What to Do If You Sustained Head Injuries in a Bicycle Accident

Of course, the number one priority is to get prompt medical treatment for your injuries. As stated in an article published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people who receive immediate medical attention at a certified trauma center are more likely to have the best health outcomes with TBI.

As soon as you are able, get in touch with an experienced New Jersey bike accident attorney. If someone else caused your accident and injuries, you may be able to recover compensation to help you deal with the challenges you are facing. Call Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. at (609) 240-0040 for a tough legal advocate after a bicycle accident with TBI.

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The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over twenty years.

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