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It's summertime: Bikers beware of brain injury risk

Over the last year, readers in San Diego have probably heard about the brain injury lawsuits filed by former football players against the National Football League. The sheer number of claims being filed is likely to lead many to believe that accidents in contact sports are the leading cause of athletic-related head injuries. Surprisingly enough, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons reports that cycling is actually the biggest source of traumatic brain injuries in the sporting world.

Knowing this fact, it will be important for bikers -- no matter their skill level -- to take caution this summer as they hit the road. At the same time, it will also be important for motorists to take precautions in order to avoid causing a serious accident.

The previously mentioned study indicates that biking accidents account for nearly 20 percent of sports-related head injuries in emergency rooms nationwide. What's more concerning is that biking is also the most common source of head injuries among children. As such, particular caution should be exercised in areas where children might be on their bikes.

One of the simplest steps bikers can take to reduce the risk of severe head injuries is to wear a helmet. Even though this might prevent all bike accident injuries, it's a common sense precaution. Unfortunately, reports indicate that 90 percent of victims in fatal bike accidents in 2009 weren't wearing a helmet.

Sustaining a head and brain injury can change a person's life dramatically in a matter of moments. Basic motor and cognitive tasks that once were simple can become incredibly difficult -- or impossible. This is why it may be helpful to see what legal options exist after sustaining a brain injury as the result of a bicycle accident.

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

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