Elderly Americans are constantly looking for ways to stay active and exercise their aging joints. However, some types of exercises can also cause a lot of harm depending on the circumstances. The risks of riding bicycle can outweigh the benefits and actually be quite risky, some are finding. Injuries among older bicyclists have been climbing for years, which has been found in studies conducted by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Between 1998 and 2013m bike injuries among all adults over the age of 18 increased by an alarming 28%, while hospital admissions jumped to 120%. It is believed that riders over 45 are a big part of jump in these hospital admissions for severe accidents (not just simple scrapes and bruises.)
What can be Said About These Drastic Numbers?
Dr. Benjamin Breyer, an associate professor of urology at UCSF, had much to say on the matter. He concluded that “the rise in cycling adults over 45 appears to be driving both the increase in injuries and hospital admissions, suggesting that older individuals are at increased risk for sustaining severe injury while cycling. As cyclists in the U.S. shift to an older demographic, greater attention is needed in injury prevention measures through improved infrastructure, such as bike lanes, use of personal protective equipment, such as helmets, as well as improved rider and motorist education.”
What can be Done to Improve Safety?
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A huge issue is that many riders in cities just so happen to be competing for the road with automobiles, adding to the increase in accidents. Inexperienced older riders can also be placing themselves at higher risk for injury. But what is one way that injuries could be prevented? Those interested could benefit from dedicated bike lanes and more safe cycling classes to attend. In addition to these things, streets should also be built with consideration for all modes of transportation. In the end, there may come a tipping point when accidents are reduced once drivers become more used to cyclists and cyclists follow the rules more closely.
Until then, the numbers are real and don’t lie. Yes, it is true that death rates for cyclists younger than 15 fell by 92% between 1975 and 2012, and that death rates for cyclists between the ages of 35 and 74 showed a large increase. These numbers should not be ignored and measures should be put in place and enforced to see a decrease all around.
Bike Safety an Issue Everywhere
These issues are not just limited to the United States, either; it just so happens to be a global issue arising. In Sweden, bicycling is a common means of transport and has almost doubled between 1980 and 1992 among people aged 25 to 64 years old. However, the risk of dying due to bicycling was about 3.7 times greater among the elderly than among children aged 14 or under in Sweden.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a bicycle accident and negligence came into play, you may have a case. You can find out where to turn next by contacting your attorney at MDL. Call today for a free consultation and case review.