Riding a bicycle is fun, healthy, and good for the planet. However, there are inherent risks associated with riding a bicycle.
You may be surprised to learn that off-road cyclists have a 40% lower rate of head, facial, and dental injuries than on-road bicyclists. The main reasons are the separation from vehicular traffic and more diligent helmet utilization.
With that said, when cyclists are involved in road accidents with motor vehicles, certain injuries tend to appear more often than others. Here are three of the most common bicycle accident injuries you should know:
#1 - Road Rash, Contusions, and Lacerations
Road rash is a type of friction burn or skin abrasion. In a bicycle accident, this type of wound occurs as a result of scraping your skin against the road.
While these injuries can be quite painful, if minor, they are often treatable at home. It’s important to clean and cover these types of wounds right away in order to prevent infection and reduce or eliminate scarring.
Road rash injuries can also be more severe and require immediate medical care in a professional setting.
A contusion is simply the medical term for a bruise. In a bicycle accident, this type of injury can occur when you receive a direct blow or an impact, such as falling off your bike.
Bruises are characterized by a black-and-blue spot that occurs when small blood vessels are torn and subsequently leak blood under the surface of your skin.
A laceration is a medical term for a deep cut or tear in the skin. Unlike road rash wounds (abrasions), the skin is no longer intact. In a bicycle accident, you may suffer lacerations by coming into contact with sharp objects, such as broken shards of glass.
#2 - Fractures and Dislocations
Fractures are also commonly referred to as broken bones. These types of injuries can be very painful and require immediate attention from a healthcare professional.
Fractures can occur straight across the bone or along its length. There are several types of fractures that have their own unique features.
If you suffer a fracture in a bicycle accident, seek medical attention right away.
When the ends of your bones are forced out of position, dislocations are the result. It’s possible to dislocate just about all of your joints, including:
- Finger joints
- Toe joints
If you have a dislocated joint, it will likely be very swollen, painful, and visibly out of place. You may not be capable of moving it.
It’s important to seek immediate medical care after suffering an injury of this nature.
#3 - Head Injuries
When cars make contact with cyclists at high speeds, head injuries are relatively common. There are several types of head injuries that cyclists commonly suffer, including:
- Skull fractures
- Brain contusions
- Intracranial hemorrhages
When the skull bone sustains a break, the resulting injury is a skull fracture. If you sustain a mild break, you may not notice any significant issues. However, serious breaks may lead to complications, including:
- Brain damage
- Leaking of cerebrospinal fluid
If you’ve suffered a skull fracture, it’s critical that you have it checked out by a medical professional right away.
These types of injuries may seem minor, but they can actually cause harm for victims for long periods of time. You may suffer a concussion in a bicycle accident if your head suffers a bump, blow, or jolt. When this happens, your head and brain move rapidly back and forth, which causes your brain to move around or twist in your skull, which produces chemical changes in your brain and can also stretch and damage your brain cells.
The impacts of a concussion can be very serious, so it’s critical that you seek immediate medical care if you sustain one in a bicycle accident.
A brain contusion occurs when your brain itself sustains a bruise. If you suffer a brain contusion, it may cause bleeding and swelling inside of your brain near the area where your head was hit in the bicycle crash. You may suffer a contusion among a fracture or other blood clots.
These injuries are usually severe, so you should seek medical attention right away if you suffer one in a bike crash.
When bleeding occurs inside of your skull, the result is an intracranial hemorrhage. The pooling of blood puts pressure on your brain, which can cause rapid brain damage or death.
These types of injuries are often life-threatening medical emergencies that warrant immediate medical care, so be sure to go to the hospital after a bicycle accident if you think you may have sustained such an injury.
If you’ve suffered any of the injuries listed (or not listed) here as a result of a bicycle accident, you may be owed compensation for your losses. Don’t delay—reach out to our office right away to learn how we can help.
Call our firm at (310) 928-9081 today for the representation you deserve.