Living in Southern California offers many perks, and one of them is that you can ride your bicycle at almost any time of year. The opportunity for year-round bicycling also means that bike accidents are a common occurrence across Los Angeles and much of the state, and the steps you take immediately following such a crash can have a serious impact on your physical well-being moving forward.
Even the safest, most conscientious cyclists cannot avoid every accident, and this proves especially true when motorists fail to give bikers adequate space or otherwise follow the rules of the roadway. Because such minimal protection exists between the rider and the road or other obstruction, bike riders often find themselves with gravely serious injuries after car-on-bike accidents. If you find yourself involved in such a crash, be sure to do the following:
Perform a gut check
If your belly or abdominal area suffers a blow during your accident, which is likely if you end up going over your handlebars, know that internal injuries may result. Immediately after your accident, rub your abdominal area and check for signs that might indicate internal bleeding, such as a belly that feels too hard or too soft.
Consider a possible head injury
If you suffer a blow to your head or neck during a bike accident, it is critical that you rule out a possible head injury, and particularly if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident. If you did have a helmet on when you crashed, look for cracks or other signs of damage. If your helmet has signs of damage, your head likely also took a serious hit.
Wiggle your extremities
A bike crash that results in a blow to the head or neck can also lead to spinal cord injuries, which can prove quite serious and even fatal. Try wiggling your extremities to make sure you can still move them and turn your head from side to side to make sure you still have the same range of motion you did before.
Anytime you get on your bike, you assume a certain level of risk. To protect yourself, try to ride with a partner whenever possible. When not possible, always leave a note detailing your destination and plans.