American football accounts for a disproportionate number of neck injuries every year, but cycling results in more broken necks among men than any other sport.
Those statistics come from a new study which was based on an analysis of data taken from the US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. The data was from between 2000 and 2015. The researchers were able to identify 27,000 neck injuries that resulted from sports like cycling, swimming, diving, football and riding during the study period.
Overall, American football was the main cause of cervical spine injury, based on the data that was collected, and was also the leading cause of overall injuries, including fractures and sprains. Just behind football was cycling and weightlifting/aerobics. Women seemed to suffer the most number of neck sprains in weightlifting/aerobics while men seemed to suffer broken necks mainly while cycling, followed by diving, swimming and football.
In fact, there was a significant increase in the number of fracture-related injuries. Fracture incidence grew by as much as 35%, and was closely linked to an increase in the number of cycling-related neck injuries. The researchers believe that part of this increase could also be due to the presence of better detection and imaging technologies that help diagnose neck injuries much faster now.
Part of the challenge in preventing neck injuries is the fact that helmets cannot do much to prevent a neck injury. Cyclists, therefore, may not be able to significantly increase their injury protection factor merely by wearing helmets all the time, but they can take other steps to reduce the risk of injury in an accident. These can include avoiding heavy traffic areas, sticking to their bicycle lanes, and always cycling in areas that are meant for bicycling only.
As a motorist, you can help reduce the chances of causing an accident that results in a severe neck injury for a bicyclist. Respect the rights of bicyclists when they are using their bike lanes, and avoid being aggressive with them. Over the years ahead, as more streets become bicycle-friendly, you will likely be required to share the roads with more numbers of bicyclists, and being patient with them and staying attentive to their rights is a good habit to cultivate.
Neck injuries after a bicycle accident can mean a moderate injury that keeps you off work and immobile for a few weeks, or a serious injury that can leave you paralyzed. If your loved one has suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, discuss your chances for a legal claim for damages with an Indianapolis bicycle accident lawyer at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy, LLP. Initial consultations are free.