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Car accidents: More bicyclists suffering injuries

Some people in Massachusetts may have noticed a bicycle that has been painted white and chained to a post near the roadway. This is an indication that a bicyclist lost their life in that spot. Despite the fact that cyclists are often making a commitment to their health -- and the environment -- some studies show that the risks associated with cycling are rising. Unfortunately, car accidents involving bicyclists can cause serious harm.

The recent study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. As part of it, researchers reviewed data from 1998 to 2013 related to hospital admissions as a result of bicycling injuries. The results indicate that the number of people seeking medical care due to bicycle related injuries has increased significantly. The study showed that most people were seeking treatment for injuries to their torso, followed by head injuries. Additionally, most injuries occurred on city streets to cyclists over the age of 45.

There are some safety measures that cyclists can take. For example, one former Olympic cyclist warns against the dangers of riding next to 18-wheelers. A large truck taking a right turn may overlook a cyclist. Additionally, wearing reflective clothing and using a light may help increase a cyclist's visibility.

Unfortunately, even cyclists who follow all recommended safety precautions are injured by careless drivers. As a result, they suffer serious injuries that require significant medical attention. Consequently, cyclists and/or their families in Massachusetts often struggle with the financial consequences of such car accidents. These victims do have the right to pursue a claim for damages in a civil court. A successfully presented case could result in a monetary award, helping victims cope with the financial consequences of another's negligence.

Source: health.harvard.edu, "Bicycle injuries are mounting, especially in adults", Beverly Merz, Sept. 5, 2015

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