Those who commute to their jobs by bicycle may do so because they enjoy physical exercise or because the cost of owning a vehicle may impact their ability to rent an apartment or pay other cost-of-living expenses. Bicycle commuters may enjoy the advantages this type of transport offers; however, it is not without its dangers. The United States Department of Transportation reports that nearly 75% of fatal bike crashes occur in urban areas, where many bike commuters travel.
Bicycle commuters face a variety of possible injuries depending on when and where they ride, some of which can cause severe trauma and affect their ability to continue working.
1. Head injuries
Individuals who commute by bicycle risk several types of head injuries if a crash occurs. Depending on the rate of speed at the point of impact, riders may experience concussions, open wounds and skull fractures. Wearing a helmet that fits well can lower the risk of such injuries.
2. Broken bones
When vehicles strike commuter bicyclists, they may cause the rider to get ejected, where they might strike a hard surface, or the weight of the vehicle may hit the rider directly. This can cause many types of bone fractures, particularly in the wrists, ankles and legs, although any bone in the body may experience a fracture during a fall.
3. Joint and tendon injuries
Those who commute by bicycle may suffer a variety of tendon and joint injuries when an accident occurs. An impact can tear tendons, even when a vehicle strikes a bicycle rider at a lower speed.
Bicycle commuters can protect themselves by avoiding distractions while in motion and learning rules that govern cyclists, especially in urban areas.