NEW YORK – Bicycling is a very healthy and beneficial activity but cyclists are suffering more injuries than ever before, according to recent statistics. Bicyclists are getting struck by vehicles more often and these crashes can lead to injury.
According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, riders over the age of 45 run a high risk of getting injured.
The report analyzed statistics from 1998 to 2013 and found injuries jumped 28 percent and hospital admissions more than doubled for riders. A Brooklyn car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says these injuries can lead to long-term complications.
“Drivers usually have a crunch zone, airbags and seatbelts protecting them in a Brooklyn car accident,” lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Bicyclists might only have a helmet and their injuries can require years of treatment.”
Whether a rider suffers broken bones or a concussion, Barnes says the medical bills can be overwhelming for some families and these crashes are occurring more often. Researchers say that’s because more people are riding into their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.
The study found head injuries are decreasing, which can be attributed to wide-use of bike helmets. Injury lawyers say while protecting the head is always important, riders can do more to protect the rest of their body as well.
“A lot of cyclists are riding around at high speeds and at high intensity like they’re 20 years old again,” Barnes said. “It might be a good workout but riders over a certain age can be more prone to injuries so it’s important not to overdo it.”
Researchers believe the number of accidents and injuries can be reduced with safe riding practices and changing infrastructure to include protected bike lanes. Brooklyn car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes said drivers should be mindful as well and be cautious of bicyclists on the streets.