Whether you go on a scheduled spring cruise with your local cycling club or take rides by yourself to run errands and get exercise, you could get seriously hurt in a crash. There can be safety in numbers because other cyclists can provide first aid or call for emergency help, but having other cyclists nearby might just increase the number of people affected when a driver makes a major mistake.
When motor vehicles collide with bicycles, the cyclists involved can suffer severe injuries while the person in the enclosed vehicle may only have a dent in their side panel or some damage to their paint to worry about.
The risk disproportionately falls on the cyclists, even though people in motor vehicles are often the ones at fault for these crashes. What are the most common severe injuries that people suffer in collisions between bicycles and cars?
Even at low speeds, getting struck by a bigger vehicle or thrown from your bicycle could mean that you break an arm or a leg. People can also break their ribs, which can cause internal bleeding and serious pain.
Broken bones might lead to weeks away from your job and surgery. In extreme cases, the damage caused to bones in someone’s limbs and extremities in car crashes may leave to surgical amputation.
Traumatic brain injuries
While wearing a helmet can potentially save your life, it will not protect your brain from 100% of the possible risk. The sad truth is that bicycle helmet manufacturers do not design helmets to absorb the full force of a motor vehicle collision. Brain injuries can cause symptoms ranging from permanent loss of consciousness to changes in personality or issues with someone’s sense of balance.
Spinal cord injuries
Either because the vehicle strikes someone in the back or they land in a way that hurts their neck or back, cycling crashes can cause spinal cord injuries. These injuries can cause loss of sensation and motor function, necessitating hundreds of thousands of dollars and medical care and causing a lifetime of reduced earning potential.
Recognizing the biggest risks in a cycling crash can help you invest in the right safety equipment or know when to pursue a personal injury claim.