Bicycling: the top sport for causing head injuries

It may be an understatement to say that San Diego is a good place to ride a bicycle. Besides the year-round good weather, there is an abundance of bicycle trails and paths in the area. Although bicycling is commonly thought of as a relatively safe pastime, recent statistics indicate that it is the most common cause of sports-related head injuries.

When people think of sports likely to cause head injuries, they tend to think of sports like football or baseball. However, according to data from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, football only accounted for 47,000 of the 447,000 sports-related head injuries in 2009. Baseball was not far behind, causing 38,394 head injuries. However, bicycle accidents topped both sports, responsible for 86,000 head injuries, or almost 20 percent of the total.

The statistics showed that the risk of brain injuries was highest in cyclists under the age of 14. Bicycling caused 40,272 head injuries in this age group-almost double the number attributed to football.

According to medical experts, a reason for the heightened risk of head injuries on bicycles is their popularity. Since, unlike football or baseball, virtually all age groups are able to ride bicycles, bicycling exposes each age group to a risk of injury. As a result of the broad exposure to risk, the total number of head injuries is higher than other sports.

Since bicycling is seen as a fairly safe activity, people are less likely to protect themselves against injury by wearing helmets, for example. Because of this, when a car collides with a bike, the result is often catastrophic. In addition to putting the rider at a high risk of developing a serious head injury like a traumatic brain injury, car-bicycle accidents account for 90 percent of bicyclist fatalities.

According to safety experts, wearing a bicycle helmet is the key to stemming the number of head injuries among bicyclists, as even a low-speed collision can fracture a skull. According to statistics, a helmet can reduce the likelihood of developing a brain injury by 80 percent.

Consult an attorney

Despite your best efforts to ride your bike in a safe manner, an accident can happen anytime. Although in some instances, both driver and rider share a degree of fault, in many instances such accidents occur because of negligent behavior on the part of the driver, such as texting while driving or failing to keep a proper lookout.

Unfortunately, due to the weight and size difference between a car and a bicycle, the cyclist can suffers catastrophic injuries in the accident, requiring a long and expensive period of rehabilitation. For this reason, if you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can advise you of your right to recover the expenses caused by the accident such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.