Unlike motorcycle protective wear, people who ride bicycles only have a thin layer of spandex or cotton to protect them in a collision…which means hardly anything at all.
Even metro commuter cyclists dressed in long pants and jackets still don't have much crash-proof clothing, so accidents with vehicles often result in severe injuries.
Frequent Injuries for Bicyclists
The Cleveland Clinic reports that in the U.S. each year, 800 bicyclists die and 500,000 are seriously injured and require immediate medical attention. Further, just like motorcyclists, bike riders should always wear helmets—which reduce the likelihood of head injuries by almost 85 percent. Here are many types of injuries bicyclists experience in auto collisions.
Head and Facial Injuries
Statistics from the Cleveland Clinic indicate that one-third of the injuries and two-thirds of deaths involving bike riders are because of head and face trauma. This is especially true if the car is traveling at a faster speed, and the force of impact is greater. Some head and brain injuries may cause permanent changes to the victim’s mobility, vision, reasoning, concentration, memory and more. Injuries include:
- Skull fractures
- Intracranial hemorrhaging
Victims also frequently suffer injuries to the bones, jaw, or eyes. These conditions include road rash, facial fractures, dental and jaw fractures, and retinal and cornea injuries. In some cases, a person can experience psychological injuries as well as the physical ones if the accident results in impaired vision or permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Fractures and Joint Injuries
Broken and fractured bones are often caused by the force of the collision or when a rider is thrown from his bike. The leg, arm, wrist, hand, and collarbone are some of the bones frequently damaged. In addition, the shoulder and other joints can be dislocated.
The recovery period can be lengthy and costly if a rider must be immobilized for a period of time, the broken bone is put in a cast, or he needs an extended period of physical therapy. If the individual doesn't make a full recovery, he could live with permanent limitations of movement and chronic pain for the rest of his life.
Neck and Spinal Injuries
A bicycle rider often experiences whiplash and other serious injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck in an auto collision. Spinal injuries are also common and, in cases of intense damage, might result in partial or total paralysis.
Trauma to the chest and abdomen is another series of injuries bicyclists have after a crash. This blunt force often causes broken ribs and internal organ damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and other organs. In severe cases, these injuries are fatal.
Hurt In a Kansas City Area Bicycle Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.