Firm-Wide blog


By David Hersh
July 26, 2019
6 min read

What to do if You Crash on Your Bike – by David P. Hersh, Shareholder

Following concussion protocol can help you get back on your bike sooner

It is a fact of life that if you ride bicycles, you have the risk of crashing.  That’s why we wear helmets, to protect our brains.  (Note:  not all helmets are created equal – but that is a topic for another day.  And, no – I don’t mean color or which one is more “aero”.  Not all helmets protect our brains the same way or to the same extent.)  Protecting our brain is important since we only have one.

So the question is:  What should a rider who hits her head in a crash do?  Tough it out, get back on the bike, and ride?  Or lay on the couch and wait for someone to tend to his or her needs?  Or something in between?  The answer is that a head trauma needs to be evaluated by a trained professional and appropriate protocol followed to speed and enhance recovery.

A recent study helps shed some light on this issue for Bike Riders Who Suffer Concussions.  A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects your brain function. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance, and coordination. The bottom line on this study is that if you suffer a concussion while riding, you need to be evaluated by a professional before you get back on and ride.  Doing so will promote healing and will get you back in the saddle more quickly and safely.

The Enduro World Series for mountain bike racing recently funded a medical study conducted by Edinburgh Napier University regarding bike riders who suffered concussions after a fall. The research indicated that 43% of all riders who sustained a concussion did not take time off following their injury, and 29% of the cyclists completed the race after the fall.  Sixty-three percent of the riders didn’t follow any safety protocol before getting back on their bike in the days and weeks that followed their brain injury. Read the details of the medical study here:

Safety Protocol for Cyclists:

If you are a cyclist and have sustained a possible injury to the head, safety protocol includes:

  • Taking a few minutes after the fall to assess how you feel.
  • Then walk or gently ride your bike out safely
  • Get checked by a physician as soon as possible.

Delaying treatment can prolong your recovery by up to 10 days. Following a suitable concussion protocol help you get back on the bike sooner post injury and can shorten your full recovery time.

Traumatic Brain Injuries are Serious

Despite the significant media attention given to the dangers of traumatic brain injuries, many people still do not take the aftermath of a “concussion” seriously.  Many people erroneously believe “It’s just a concussion”, when in fact it is a serious insult to the brain and needs to be treated as such.

“This a problem across all sports and recreational activities,” said athletic trainer Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, Ph.D., a writer on the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Position Statement on the Management of Sport-Related Concussion. “People don’t recognize and understand all the symptoms of concussion, and if they do, there are other factors—like riders not wanting to lose fitness—that lead them to avoid getting checked out.”

Dr. McLeod says that new research regarding head injuries shows that concussions now require only 24 to 48 hours of rest. Patients are now encouraged to become more active as their symptoms subside.

Common Signs of a Head Injury:

  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Delayed response and slow reaction times
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Amnesia
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings

Cyclists who suffer a concussion are urged to seek treatment as soon as possible.  “There’s recent evidence that if you delay seeking treatment for concussion, you take up to 10 days longer to recover,” McLeod said.

One study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that adolescents who followed this type of active protocol post-concussion recovered in 13 days compared to 17 days for those in the same age group who did not participate in any aerobic exercise during the recovery process.

The report states: “That means under the direction of a health care provider, you could be doing 20 minutes of riding and then some other exercises on the first day, and ultimately get back to safe, unrestricted riding sooner than someone who doesn’t seek medical help right away and just pushes through,” according to McLeod.

Bottom line:  Your brain is important, and concussions are nothing to sneeze at.  If you suffer the signs and symptoms of a concussion, get checked out and follow an appropriate concussion protocol before riding again.  If you do, your brain will reward you with a faster (and more complete) healing process, getting you back to doing what you love safely and quickly.

If You Have Been Injured in Bike Collison

What to do if you crash on your bike?  Call Burg Simpson and schedule a Free Consultation with our lawyers at Burg Simpson Today — Call us now at 303 792 5595

Our team of personal injury lawyers has a proven history of obtaining results for our clients who have been in bike accidents. We can give you a fighting chance when it comes to investigating your bicycle crash, preparing your insurance claims, negotiating a settlement, and even litigating in court for you against the parties who are responsible for your injuries.

We have a national reputation for fighting for individuals in courtrooms across the country. With offices in seven states and more than 65 attorneys, Burg Simpson has the experience and resources to fight for you and obtain the compensation you deserve.

If you have been hurt in a bicycle collision and you need help, call us at 888. 895.2080 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form so we may discuss your case with you as soon as possible.

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