Most New York City residents do not even own a car. Instead, many rely on public transportation, walking and bicycles to get to where they need to be. And now, with the bike sharing program CitiBike underway, biking may become an even more popular mode of transportation.
However, what many riders may not realize is that bike accidents account for more sports-related head injuries than any other type of sport. This means that while many might hear about the dangers associated with football, the truth is that bicycle riding is even more dangerous.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, in 2009 there were roughly 447,000 treated in emergency rooms for sports-related head injuries. Of those head injuries, 86,000 stemmed from bicycle accidents. Football head injuries accounted for 47,000 of those sports accidents.
The head injuries can also be quite serious, leading to brain injuries with long-term effects and even death. In fact, according to a recent New York Times article, 75 percent of all fatal bike accidents in New York City involve some type of head injury.
In looking at why bicycle riders may be more susceptible to head injuries, the fact that these cyclists are often involved in accidents with motor vehicles speaks volumes. Just the sheer size and weight of a motor vehicle — and the lack of protection a bicyclist has — plays a rather large role in why these types of injuries tend to be so severe.
However, those in accidents must remember that bicyclists have just as many rights as the person driving a car or truck. This means that in cases where a driver’s negligence led to a bicycle accident, that driver could end up being held responsible. This can end up leading to needed compensation for the bicyclist injured. This compensation can end up going toward not only medical bills, but also toward dealing with the emotional trauma of being in a bicycle accident.
Source: The New York Times, “Really? Cycling Is the Top Sport for Head Injuries,” Anahad O’Conner, June 3, 2013