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Bicycle accidents pose risks for Indiana children

It is a rite of passage as a child in Indiana to learn how to ride a bike. Fun for all ages, bike riding is a simple joy that may be done alone or in a group. Despite the fun they bring, bicycles inevitably pose the risk of dangerous bicycle accidents. Bicyclists are at a higher risk of suffering injuries and deaths from crashes than those in motor vehicles.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 494,000 people experienced injuries requiring emergency department care after bicycle accidents in 2013, and 900 bicyclists died. Tragically, though the number of injuries declined from 2010, when there were 515,000 injuries requiring emergency room treatment, the number of deaths rose by 100 deaths. Approximately half of those injuries and deaths in 2010 were experienced by people aged 20 and younger, and traumatic brain injuries account for over 25,000 of these injuries to children and teens. Of course, there may be many other injuries that occur after bicycle accidents that do not require emergency room treatment and therefore are not documented by the CDC.

One common way to prevent injuries after a bicycle accident, particularly the traumatic brain injuries that may be associated with a bike crash, is by wearing a helmet. Additional strategies include wearing reflective clothing and obeying the rules of the road.

Nevertheless, no matter how diligent and careful a bicyclist is, he or she is no match for a dangerous or distracted driver. A bicyclist who is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle may suffer serious injuries and broken bones. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, you may wish to consult with an attorney to discuss the options available for financial recovery.

Source: CDC, "Bicycle Safety," accessed Dec. 18, 2015

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