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|Bike Popularity Rising, But So Are Injury Accidents: eAskme|
Over a 15-year period, traumatic injuries caused by bike accidents have risen by 28 percent, according to a study published in JAMA. Not only that, but the injuries are more severe than ever. Hospital admissions caused by bike accidents have increased by a whopping 120 percent. Cases of head injuries have increased by 16 percent. Older bike riders – those over the age of 45 – are the ones seeing the more serious injuries. Damaged organs, facial trauma and broken bones are just some of the injuries suffered by bike riders.
The actual rate of injuries, however, is actually down considering that many cities have seen huge increases in bike ridership. For example, the number of bike riders in New York City increased by 150 percent between 2006 and 2016. The city has invested a huge effort in making bicycling safe, though. For example, the city recently distributed 190,000 free helmets to bike riders. In addition, New York City’s Department of Transportation has added new infrastructure and bike lanes to improve biker safety.
As a result, the city has made the roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2014, serious injuries in bike-share zones dropped by 14 percent.
According to Jeffrey Nadrich, founding partner and personal injury lawyer at Nadrich & Cohen LLP in West Los Angeles, Calif. “Not every city is like New York, though. In some areas of the country, bicycling has expanded too quickly. While it’s great that more and more people want to ride bikes, some cities just aren’t prepared. The roads and infrastructure are just not bike friendly, making accidents more likely to occur.”
Decreasing InjuriesHelmets have been touted as the #1 way to make bike riding safer. However, many riders don’t use them and believe that creating helmet laws would discourage people from riding bikes.
More bike lanes would also be helpful. Bike riders would have their own lanes and would not have to share with motorists. Many drivers still struggle with sharing the roads with bicyclists, and this often leads to aggression and serious accidents.
There are also things bike riders can do to draw attention to themselves. For example, putting flashing lights on their bikes can make them seen by other vehicles. Wearing reflective clothing is also a good idea, especially for those who plan to ride their bike in the dark.
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