Bicycle Riders at High Risk for Traumatic Brain Injury

bicycle-accident-imageTraumatic brain injury, or TBI, can be life-altering or even lethal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 percent of injury deaths in the United States are related to traumatic brain injury.

A recent study by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons found that nearly 86,000 bicycle riders suffered traumatic brain injuries in 2009. The association found that cycling was the leading cause of all the sports-related traumatic brain injuries that were treated in U.S. hospitals in 2009. This is important news for cyclists, who typically consider bicycle riding to be safer than football and other high-impact sports.

It is clear that cyclists who want to avoid TBI should wear helmets. However, Virginia does not require cyclists to wear protective headgear. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, local governments in Virginia are not allowed to make rules requiring bicycle riders over the age of 14 to wear helmets.

In 2011, Richmond had the third-highest rate of bicycle crashes and cycling injuries in the state of Virginia. Bicycle accidents in cities often involve collisions with cars and buses, and the risk of head injuries is high.

Make the Connection, an organization that supports U.S. veterans, provides information on the symptoms of TBI.

These include:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Blurry eyesight
  • Trouble hearing
  • Loss of energy
  • Change in sense of taste or smell
  • Dizziness or trouble with balance
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble with attention
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Repeating things
  • Becoming angry easily
  • Getting frustrated easily

If you have been in a bicycle crash and are suffering from any of these symptoms, you may have a traumatic brain injury. The Richmond personal injury law firm of Geoff McDonald and Associates, P.C., helps people who have suffered traumatic brain injury in a work accident or traffic crash. Contact us today learn more about your rights.

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