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What are the risks involved in bike riding?

One analysis of bicycling accidents by the American Academy of Family Physicians indicated that while it's a popular recreation, bicycling injuries can be fatal.

The analysis determined that more males than females get injured, with most injuries occurring at high speed. By far, the most severe injuries and deaths happen in collisions with vehicles. The most common injuries are musculoskeletal traumas and superficial soft tissue injuries. However, while occurring more infrequently, head injuries cause the most incapacitating long-term disabilities and deaths.

Bicycling injuries are responsible for about 900 deaths, 23,000 admissions to hospitals, 580,000 emergency room visits and over 1.2 million trips to primary care physicians annually in America. The cost of all this is estimated to be higher than $8 billion each year.

According to some statistics, an estimated 4.4 million kids between the ages of 5 and 17 get hurt each year while participating in recreation. Of that total bike-riding injuries had a role in as many as 40 percent of the injuries. Bike collisions came in second to animal riding as a source of serious injuries, and one study figured the severe injury rate to be more than 37 out of 100,000 people living in urban areas.

Most bike-related injuries and deaths fell into the age range of 9 to 15, with more males than females injured. Risk factors included:

-- Failing to wear helmets

-- Colliding with automobiles

-- Unsafe riding environments

-- Being male

Additional risk factors for adolescents and young adults were substance abuse and alcohol use. Other factors came into play, such as the time of day and year. Summer afternoons and evenings were found to be the most hazardous times.

If you wind up hurt while riding your bike, a personal injury lawyer can explain the options you have available when seeking justice.

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians, "Bicycle-Related Injuries," Matthew J. Thompson, M.B., CH.B., and Frederick P. Rivara, M.D., M.P.H, accessed June 03, 2016

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