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TBIs Among Bicyclists


Though it may be surprising to some, bicycling actually results in more traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) than any other sport, including football and hockey. While the use of helmets does reduce the risks of trauma and skull fractures, how well does it protect against other head injuries, such as concussions? According to some studies, wearing a helmet while bicycling may actually increase the risks of particular types of head injuries.

While skull-fractures are caused by force of impact, concussions may be caused by low-impact blows which can cause rotation of the brain or blood clots (hematoma). In severe cases, this rotation may damage axons in the brain in a “diffuse axonal injury,” the deadliest of TBIs among bicyclists. Some concussions, particularly mild ones, also bring the risk of “second impact syndrome” when left unreported and, thus, untreated; a second concussion before the first has fully healed can be devastating, even fatal in some cases.

Interestingly, some studies have shown that helmet-wearing cyclists may be more likely to be hit by vehicles, as drivers may allow helmet-less cyclists more room when passing them due to their greater perceived vulnerability. Some helmets also create “wind-noise” at high speeds, making it difficult for cyclists to hear cars coming from behind.

Collisions with cars are the leading cause of TBIs among bicyclists. Common symptoms of TBIs can vary and include:

  • Abnormal sleep patterns
  • Depression and/or mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches, from minor to severe
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea/vomiting

More severe symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Problems with reasoning/concentration
  • Partial or total memory loss
  • Severe headaches
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness/coma

Due to their potential to be asymptomatic, anyone who has suffered a head injury, even one that seems minor, should be seek medical attention as soon as possible following the accident for a proper diagnosis. Your health and wellness is your first priority; recovering for your losses comes next.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.

Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.

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