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Cyclists more likely to suffer head injuries than other athletes

Now that it is springtime in Roanoke, what better way is there to enjoy the nice weather than to head out for a nice bike ride? Many of us own bikes and love nothing more than to get out and pedal for a few hours, but recent research shows that skipping safety precautions can quickly turn a leisurely ride into a traumatic experience. 

When we think about sports that cause serious head injuries, we often think of football first. Over the last year or more, football players suing the NFL over serious brain injuries has dominated the news. Football, however, is not the most dangerous sport when it comes it to brain injuries. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, cycling causes the most damage. 

In 2009, cycling accidents were responsible for almost 20 percent of head injuries that required treatment in an emergency room. What this means for cyclists in Virginia, is that safety should be of the utmost importance. Wearing a helmet and riding on roads with bike lanes, if possible, can go a long way toward preventing serious and life-threatening injuries. Unfortunately, cyclists cannot prevent all accidents.

Because they share the road with motor vehicles, bikers are at risk of being hit. Although both drivers and bikers are responsible for safely sharing the road, not all drivers are as vigilant as they should be. If a driver fails to see a cyclist, an accident can occur. 

When a collision with a car results in a brain injury, the consequences can be life-altering. While some brain injuries have minor symptoms, others can leave a person as simply a shell of their former self. In such cases, the family of the victim may want to consider a personal injury lawsuit to hold a driver accountable and seek compensation for medical expenses. 

Source: The New York Times, "Really? Cycling Is the Top Sport for Head Injuries," Anahad O'Connor, June 3, 2013

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