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Bicycle-related injuries and deaths may be preventable

Bicycle accidents are very serious, especially when the bicyclist is struck by a vehicle. This is why it is important for everyone who rides a bicycle to understand some of the basic safety rules for riding.

The consequence of not following safety guidelines is not great. Bicyclists can die or suffer from injuries that will impact them for the remainder of their life. Here are some points that you might find interesting about bicycle injuries.

Troubling statistics

Around 467,000 bicycle-related injuries and around 1,000 deaths occur each year in this country. Of the people who died, those aged 50 to 59 have the highest death rate. Children have the highest rate of non-fatal injuries. Males are four times more likely to suffer an injury in a bike accident and six times more likely to die in them than females.

One especially troubling statistic noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that 37 percent of bicyclist deaths have alcohol involved. This statistic doesn't differentiate between which party was impaired. Since the driver or the bicyclist could have been the intoxicated party in these cases, it is imperative that people on bicycles and those in cars only operate each vehicle when they are sober.

Risk factors to consider

With these statistics, it is clear that children, males and people who are 50 to 59 should be especially careful when they are out bicycling. Taking care to wear the appropriate safety gear is imperative for all cyclists, especially those who are riding in the space near vehicles.

While you might associate bicycle accidents that cause injury and death only with being hit by a car, bicyclists can also face risks from other types of accidents. Being run off the road by a car, for example, can lead to the cyclist being injured.

Cyclists who are injured should also beware of hidden injuries because not all injuries will be noticeable at the scene of an accident. There are three to be especially vigilant about. These are head injuries, neck injuries and spinal cord injuries. Sometimes, symptoms appear right away, but other times, they become evident hours or even days after the accident.

Getting medical care after the crash is imperative for cyclists. Even if you don't think you are injured, having an evaluation is a good idea. Depending on the severity of the injuries you have, you might have to miss work, which can be financially devastating.

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