Bicycle Accidents

As a parent you do everything you can to protect your kids, and with the amount of injuries caused by bicycling, its no wonder there are so many safety measures taken for this activity. Sometimes those efforts aren't enough to protect kids from a careless motorist or a dangerous stretch of road. Many times certain factors that caused the accident aren't taken into account. That is when you need an attorney who knows how to examine the case from all angles.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 600,000 persons suffered bicycle-related injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment in 1994. Here are some typical cases:

"Karen applied her hand brakes and lost control of her bicycle. She went down an embankment into a creek, and fractured her shoulder."

"As Jimmy was riding his bicycle downhill, the front wheel of his bicycle suddenly became loose and twisted. Jimmy lost control, fracturing his knee."

"Bob was riding a bike without a chain guard when his foot caught between the pedal and chain. He fell, suffering a concussion and skull fracture."

"Michele was riding her bike alongside a friend's. As her friend moved his bike to the right, the two front wheels collided, causing Michele to fall. She suffered a concussion and fractured a wrist."

These case histories illustrate some major accident patterns associated with bicycles. They are:

  • Collision with an automobile or another bicycle.
  • Loss of Control -- This occurs because of a number of factors, including: difficulty in braking; riding too large a bike; riding too fast; riding double; stunting; striking a rut, bump, or obstacle; and riding on slippery surfaces.
  • Mechanical and Structural Problems -- These include brake failure; wobbling or disengagement of the wheel or steering mechanism; difficulty in shifting gears; chain slippage; pedals falling off, or spoke breakage.
  • Entanglement of a person's feet, hands, or clothing in the bicycle.
  • Foot slippage from pedal.

Types of common injuries associated with bike accidents range from amputation, blindness,eye injury,head injury,disfigurement,scarring,long term disability,short term disability,paralysis,spinal cord injury,traumatic brain injury,(TBI),and a long range of fractured bones. Many of these are preventable injuries.

To make bicycles safer, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission developed a mandatory safety standard for bicycles to help eliminate injuries due to mechanical and structural failures.

The CPSC regulations establish strict performance and construction standards for the brakes, wheels, steering system and frame. They require reflectors on the front, back, sides and pedals to make bicycles visible at night; require elimination of uncovered sharp edges and jutting parts; and require brakes on bicycles with seat height of 22 inches or more. New bicycles are required to meet the standards.

If your child has been injured in a bicycle accident of any type and you feel as if you need qualified legal help, please call our office at or contact us at by Email.


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Links to Keep Your Child Safe

How Not to Get Hit by Cars

Bikeability Checklist

Kids and Bike Safety (English)

Kids and Bike Safety (Spanish)

Safekids

American Academy of Pediatrics