Tips for Reducing Risk of Bicycle Accidents in Children
December 9, 2019 Published in Uncategorized
One of the most popular activities for children to participate in is riding a bicycle. Children all over Illinois ride their bicycles each day. However, bicycle crashes are among the leading causes of unintentional child injuries. Bicycle accidents can lead to serious and disabling injuries for children, and they are often caused by another person’s negligence.
How often are children hurt and bicycle accidents?
Unintentional injuries are those that someone did not mean to cause. However, that does not mean that the incident was not caused by negligence. Many children’s injuries occur due to the negligence of another person.
During the latest reporting year in Illinois, there were 2,696 people injured in bicycle accidents. Twenty-six people lost their lives in bicycle crashes that year. A total of 883 of the bicycle accident injuries occurred in those under the age of 18.
According to Stanford Children’s Health, each year approximately 100 children are killed, and 254,000 are injured as a result of bicycle-related accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that Children in adolescence aged five to 19 have the highest rates of non-fatal bicycle related injuries and accounted for over one-third of all bicycle-related injuries seen in United States hospitals.
What are the most common bicycle accident injuries?
Bicyclists, even when they are wearing a helmet, have very little protection against the force of a vehicle slamming into them. The average passenger vehicle weighs approximately 4,000 pounds and can inflict serious damage to a bicyclist’s body. It is not uncommon to see the following injuries in a child struck by a vehicle while riding their bicycle:
- Spinal cord trauma (possible paralysis)
- Open head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or road rash
Each of these injuries requires immediate medical care. Often, a child injured in a bicycle accident must undergo significant medical procedures, including surgery, in order to make a full recovery. A child may require extensive rehabilitation after a bicycle accident, and they may suffer from permanent disabilities due to the crash.
What to do if a negligent driver was responsible for a child bicycle accident
Many bicycle accidents are the result of driver negligence. This can include drivers:
- failing to obey traffic laws, such as yielding the right-of-way
- not paying attention to their surroundings and failing to see a child on their bike
- operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- operating well distracted by their cell phones or something else inside the vehicle
If a child is injured on their bicycle by a negligent driver, their parent or guardian may be able to pursue compensation on their behalf. A bicycle accident attorney will work to obtain all evidence necessary to prove the driver’s negligence. An attorney will handle all aspects of a personal injury claim, including negotiating with insurance carriers or taking a case to trial as necessary.
Preventing bicycle accidents in children
Parents and guardians must ensure that their children have a bicycle helmet that fits them properly and that they use it every time they ride. They must also ensure that their child wears clothing that is brightly colored and visible to drivers. Parents and guardians must teach their children safe bicycle riding practices, including traffic laws, looking out for vehicles, and avoiding busy roadways.