Bicycle ridership continues to climb in San Francisco. On one hand, that news is welcome. Bicycle ridership promotes healthy lifestyles, decreases toxic emissions, and de-clutters city streets. But, as a bicycle accident lawyer, I know there’s a downside to this trend as well: more bicyclists in The City by the Bay equate to more bicycle accidents in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.
How many? SFPD and area hospital data shows that between 2000 and 2009 there were just over 5,000 bicycle accidents in San Francisco reported to either police or medical professionals. That data is broken down below where you’ll find a list of the most common bicycle accident injuries in San Francisco. Hopefully understanding how and why some of these accidents occur can prevent or lessen the severity of future accidents.
The Most Common Types of Bicycle Injuries in San Francisco
CDC data shows that in spite of the increasing use of helmets, head injuries are still responsible for 60% of the bicycle fatalities in San Francisco and 30% of all non-fatal injuries requiring emergency room visits. They’re also the leading cause of long-lasting injuries such as brain damage and disabilities. Such head injuries cost individuals, insurers, and the public $3 billion per year in the United States.
Correctly using properly fitted helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries during a bicycle accident by up to 85%!
The NIH lists broken bones as among the most common non-fatal bicycle accident injuries in The United States. These types of injuries occur when a cyclist attempts to break their fall by using an outstretched arm resulting in fractured:
- Collar bones
Learning how to fall correctly can minimize the risk of broken bones but remembering what you’ve been taught in the panicked instant before you hit the pavement isn’t easy. Padding and protective gear may help lessen the blow but many riders don’t wear it because it’s uncomfortable.
Sprains, Strains, and Contusions
The most common of all bicycle accident injuries in San Francisco are also the most minor. The majority of sprains, strains, and bruises can be treated at home with heat/ice therapy, bandages, and rest.
Mechanical malfunctions are one of the leading causes of non-automobile-related bicycle accidents in San Francisco. Take care of your equipment and it will return the favor.
Abdominal and Genital Injuries
Abdominal and genital injuries are fairly common and incredibly painful. Usually caused by the seat, handle bars, and frame of the bicycle during a crash, they can be more serious than they appear. Any time you suspect internal injuries seek medical attention immediately.
A properly fitted and ergonomically designed bicycle (especially the seat) is the best tool to combat abdominal and genital injuries.
Protecting Yourself from Negligent Drivers
Sometimes even when you do everything you can to prevent an injury it isn’t enough. The vast majority of serious bicycle accidents in San Francisco involve automobiles and in 60% of those cases the driver is at fault not the cyclist. In cases like this contacting an experienced bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco is the best option to minimize the financial impact of a serious injury.
Ride safe and ride smart, but when you need help from an expert San Francisco bicycle accident lawyer don’t hesitate to get a free online case evaluation for you bike accident case today.