Biking has grown more popular lately. Bicycle sales are up, and if you think about it, that makes sense. During the pandemic, gyms closed, and those who owned bikes could get some exercise while not having to spend any additional money.
If you owned a bike already when Covid-19 struck last year, you already had a built-in way to exercise. Also, you could get out of the house while riding, which was something that many people wanted to do. It was easy to go stir-crazy during lockdown.
Even many of those who didn’t own a bike got one this past year, though. That was because, once you put down the purchase money, you didn’t have to keep paying additional fees, other than for occasional bike maintenance. That made more sense for the money-conscious individual than getting something like a Peloton, where you had to keep paying for classes every month.
While biking is fantastic exercise and works several muscle groups, there are some risks involved. You’re out there on the road with cars, and you never know when a reckless driver might decide to run into you. If that happens, there are a few common bike accident injuries that can occur, and we’ll talk about some of them now.
Head injuries for those individuals who don’t wear a helmet are all too common. The law varies state by state regarding whether you have to wear a helmet or not. In West Virginia, for example, you must wear one up till you’re 15 years old, but not after that.
If you elect to go helmetless and a car collides with you, you can fly over the handlebars and strike your head. When that happens, you can sustain a concussion, or a different traumatic brain injury, which some medical professionals abbreviate as TBI.
TBIs can impact your ability to write, speak, walk, and other critical skills. You might lapse into a coma if you sustain one. You may need to essentially relearn how to do many basic tasks, but in some cases, if the damage is severe enough, you’ll never be able to again.
This is why you should continue to wear a helmet every time you ride your bike, even if the law doesn’t explicitly require it. You can injure your head even with a helmet on, but it’s always better to have one than not to.
When you ride your bike, you don’t have the protective shell around you like you do when you’re in a car or truck. Because of this, there’s nothing but air between you and the pavement.
If a car hits you, you can fly off your bike and strike your mouth or teeth on the ground. Oral injuries can be excruciating. You can lose teeth, loosen them, bloody your lip, etc.
You might even fracture your jaw if you hit the ground hard enough. If that happens, you’ll need to see a doctor immediately. If you did not sustain a jaw fracture, and you suffered tooth damage exclusively, then some time in a dentist’s chair is probably in your immediate future.
It’s also easy to break a bone if you fall off your bike. Depending on how hard a vehicle hits you and how fast it’s going at the time, you might break a leg, an arm, your wrist, or other bones.
Broken wrists and fingers are very common if you stick your hand out to try to break your fall. It’s instinctual for you to do this, so these injuries are relatively widespread. Broken legs or arms usually happen if a car strikes you and causes you to fly through the air, landing on the ground away from your bike.
If you break a bone, you might require corrective surgery if it’s out of alignment. You may need to wear a sling or a cast for weeks or even months. You also might need physical therapy to relearn how to execute some basic movements.
If a car hits you while you’re cycling, that can also damage your internal organs if you hit the ground in a particular way. You might bruise or rupture your spleen, pancreas, kidneys, liver, and so forth.
You might not know at first that’s what has happened. You may start to feel ill and bleed from the mouth if you try to walk away from the accident. You might feel nauseated.
If you start to suspect an internal injury after a bike wreck, get medical help as soon as possible. That’s the sort of thing that can threaten your life if you ignore it.
Just hearing the term “road rash” is enough to make some people wince. This occurs when a car or some other vehicle hits you, and you fall over, dragging along the ground, sometimes with your bike on top of you.
You can easily take off several layers of skin this way. If you have clothing on that’s dragging along the ground, that can protect you somewhat, but you can sustain damage anywhere you have bare skin showing.
Skateboarders and skaters know all about this injury. Any time you’re on a device that can get up to a decent speed, there’s a road rash risk, especially if you lose your balance or a car hits you.
You will need to see a doctor to determine how bad the road rash is if this happens to you. They can sterilize the wound and get any gravel, grass, or sand out of it.
This type of occurrence can give you some pretty noticeable scars. In extreme cases, some individuals need to have skin grafts if the pavement took off the top several skin layers.
Even though all of this sounds daunting, you should not let it dissuade you from biking. It’s still excellent exercise. Just be sure to wear a helmet and to stay away from high-traffic areas as much as you can.