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Study— reasons behind increase in bicycle-related injuries and hospital admissions

In cities across the country, more and more people are choosing to ride bicycles. In many large urban cities like New York City, not only are more people choosing to commute to work via bicycle, but those who are choosing to do so aren't just right out of college.

The increase in bicycle ridership nationwide has also lead to an increase in the number of serious bicycle accidents. In an attempt to determine the growing prevalence of biking-related accidents in the U.S., researchers from the University of California, San Francisco reviewed hospital data for biking injury and admission reports from 1998 to 2013. During this time, researchers determined that admission rates for biking-related injuries increased by 120 percent.

Most notably, researchers found that the biking injury rates among individuals age 45 and older increased by 85 percent and hospital admission rates by 66 percent. Based on this data, researchers determined that individuals in this age demographic accounted for the majority of the overall increase in biking-related injuries and hospital admissions.

A bicyclist who is hit by a car and knocked to the ground may suffer a range of serious and potentially debilitating or deadly injuries. For this study, of those injuries reported, 16 percent involved injuries to the head and 17 percent to the torso. Injuries to the back, neck, head and brain are among the most serious of all injuries and can leave an individual with permanent damage and chronic pain.

New York City residents, who have been injured in a biking accident after being hit by a car, may choose to take legal action against a driver. Damages recovered via a personal injury lawsuit can help cover expenses related to medical bills, lost wages and permanent disability.

Source: JAMA, "Bicycle Trauma Injuries and Hospital Admissions in the United States, 1998-2013," Thomas Sanford, MD, Charles E. McCulloch, PhD, Rachel A Callcut, Peter R. Carrol, MD, MPH, Benjamin N. Breyer, MD MAS, Sept. 1, 2015

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