Bicycle Crash Injuries
Injuries from bicycle crashes are most often to the limbs, and include fractures, abrasions, and lacerations. Fractures account for about 25 percent of bike crash injuries, and facial injuries account for about one third of injuries. The most disabling and serious injuries are brain injuries. These are so severe because they can result in a permanent defect or disability. Head injuries are also more likely to be fatal.
What To Do When In a Bike-Car Crash
To the extent possible and practical to avoid further accidents or injuries after a bicycle crash, do the following:
*Keep completely still if you may be severely injured. Wait for medical help.
* Accept medical help, even if you do not feel severely injured.
* Wait for the police so an accident report can be filed with statements from witnesses, and the at-fault driver, and the crash scene investigated.
* Leave damaged property and equipment as it was until police arrive.
* Contact a personal injury lawyer who understands bicycling.
Bicycle Safety and Crash Prevention
Not surprisingly, helmets can protect again head injuries – both brain injuries and upper facial injuries. Statistics have shown that of the 75 percent of bike riders who got severe brain injury in an accident were not wearing helmets. To provide proper protection, helmets must be fitted correctly.
Although helmets can protect against head injury, they do not protect from getting hit by cars! To help prevent personal injury, bicyclists must use common sense and remain alert when cycling on roads to avoid crashes with cars. Although drivers should be more attentive to the presence of bicyclists, the odds of injury favor the bicyclist. This is why it is so important to follow some basic common sense prevention guidelines which include:
* Follow the law – ride on the right side of road; stop at stop signs and red lights; use a headlight at night (also beneficial in the day).
* Avoid stopping in the blind spot of a car at a red light. You can be hit if it turns right and you go straight.
* Use a bell or horn to signal or alert drivers of your presence.
*Use a rear light and headlight, especially when it is dark outside.
* Use a mirror to glance at traffic behind, especially when approaching intersections.
* Be attentive and alert to the cars. Watch for left turning cars crossing in front that may not see you, and pay attention to parked cars for which a door may open.
*Do not ride very fast in case you need to stop abruptly.
* Avoid riding on sidewalks.
* Avoid busy streets, especially as a novice rider.