Florida is a dangerous place for bicyclists. The Tampa Bay area has the highest bicyclist death rate of any metro area in the country, with Pinellas County being the most dangerous county. Many bicycle accidents result in traumatic brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the country as a whole, approximately 26,000 people annually are treated in an emergency room for head injuries sustained in a bicycle accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries can be devastating and life-altering. They result from a violent jolt or blow to the head. Traumatic brain injuries can range from a concussion to a brain bleed to a skull fracture. Less serious traumatic brain injury, such as a mild concussion, may temporarily affect brain cells. More serious injuries can result in torn tissues, bruising, bleeding, and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can lead to long-term complications and even death.
When confronted with a negligent driver, bicyclists are particularly prone to traumatic brain injuries. Bicycles don’t offer the same protection that a vehicle can when involved in a collision. Bicycles are also not as stable as vehicles, and cyclists can fall to the pavement at a high velocity, resulting in violent blows to the head. A traumatic brain injury can result even if a cyclist doesn’t hit their head on something. The force of impact from a car can cause the cyclist’s brain to jolt and strike the inside of the skull resulting in injury.
Bicycle Helmet Use
While they cannot prevent all injuries, bicycle helmets can go a long way toward reducing the risk of a traumatic brain injury. Florida law only requires that children under 16-years-old wear bicycle helmets, but everyone who rides a bike, especially on busy roadways, should consider wearing a helmet. A properly fitted helmet can reduce the risk of a traumatic brain injury by half. In addition, bicyclists who wear helmets are less likely to die from their injuries if they are injured in an accident.
Consult a Trusted Attorney
If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of a bicycle accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.