Going for a bicycle ride is a fun, relaxing pursuit that is also good for you. Biking gives you a good aerobic workout that is easy on the joints and builds muscle strength in your legs, your abdominals, arms and shoulders. Cycling is a resistance activity that helps increase bone density. The benefits of bicycling can even carry over to help your overall endurance, walking, standing, and balance.
But riding a bicycle is not without risks. A cyclist has virtually no protection in a bicycle accident with another vehicle or just when sliding on uneven or sandy surfaces.
Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Common in Bicycle Accidents
All too often in an accident, a bicyclist will be thrown over the handlebars with little to no control over how they land on the ground. This motion often causes a head injury that can range from a scrape or bump to severe lacerations and skull fractures. The most severe head injuries can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The degree of damage in a TBI depends on the force of impact. The brain can be harmed in a limited area near the point of impact or it may shake back and forth within the skull. Bleeding around the brain or swelling can disrupt the brain’s oxygen supply and cause further damage.
TBIs can be mild if the confusion, disorientation or loss of consciousness lasts 30 minutes or less. A concussion is a form of mild TBI. Although considered “mild,” these TBIs can cause memory problems, headache, attention deficits and mood swings.
A more serious TBI can result in limited leg or arm function, abnormal speech, emotional problems, loss of thinking ability and even coma. Severe TBIs can require long-term rehabilitation and dramatic changes to the victim’s family, job, and social community.
Reduce Your Risk of Brain Injury and Wear a Helmet
One very important thing that you can control each time you ride your bicycle is to wear a helmet.
There is currently no Indiana state law requiring the wearing of helmets for bicyclists, although there may be local ordinances in place. But consider the numbers: It’s estimated that helmet use reduces the odds of a head injury by 50%!
Bicycle helmets generally have a layer of crushable foam. When your head hits a hard surface, this foam layer crushes to help control the crash energy and reduce peak impact to the brain.
It’s important that your helmet fits well for the best protection. Helmet sizes can vary between manufacturers. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute has comprehensive information on helmet sizes. You can also learn more about bike helmet safety for kids at SafeKids.org.
We Can Help if You’ve Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a bicycle accident or by any type of personal injury, please contact the Sevenish Law Firm immediately. Our experienced team of attorneys will fight for the compensation that you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Randall Sevenish will fight to secure justice for you and your family.