We hear a lot of heated discussion about the prevalence of brain injuries in team sports that are characterized by physical contact, such as football, hockey, and even baseball. Turns out, though, that bicycle accidents result in almost as many head injuries as football and baseball combined.
The Truth Comes Out
Research by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons revealed that emergency rooms in the United States treated 447,000 sports-related head injuries in 2009. Of this number,
- 47,000 were football injuries
- 38,394 were baseball injuries
- 86,000 were cycling injuries
Nearly twice as many children younger than 14 years old suffered sports-related head injuries from bike accidents as from football injuries: 40,272 versus 21,878, respectively.
Why So Many Head Injuries from Cycling?
Gonzalo Vazquez-Casals, a neuropsychologist at Jamaica Medical Center in New York, theorizes that people are cavalier about safety regarding bicycles. Many cyclists shun wearing a helmet, and they take risks, weaving in and out of traffic, taking advantage of a bicycle’s size and mobility.
Other possible reasons for the high rate of head injuries associated with bicycle accidents include the following:
- Bicycles are everywhere—on city streets, suburban roads, sidewalks, and nature paths
- Motor vehicle drivers unintentionally tend not to see and react to bicycles as readily as they do other, similarly sized vehicles
Suffering from a brain injury in Kentucky caused by someone else’s actions? Call Gray and White Law at 502-210-8942 or toll-free at 888-450-4456 to set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.