Bicycling is the Leading Cause of Sports-Related Head Injuries
With the progression of medicine and injury prevention in today's sports, one type of injury is the focus again and again: head injury. Sports such as football and hockey usually are the focus because their gameplay typically involves violent collisions, but surprisingly enough, the sport that causes the most head injuries is not a contact sport.
Out of the 447,000 head injuries that emergency rooms treated in 2009, bicycle accidents accounted for 86,000 of them. Football only accounted for about 47,000, a little more than half the amount of bicycle head injuries. The statistics for children remain similar: bicycling caused 40,272 head injuries while football only caused about half that with 21,878 head injuries.
Part of the explanation behind these statistics is that bicycling is more common among people of all ages, but that's not the whole picture. While helmets are required for other sports, there is no national helmet law for bicyclists, and state laws mostly apply to children under 16.
Not wearing a helmet contributes to more than just preventable injuries. Of the bicyclists killed in the United States in 2009, 90 percent were not wearing helmets. Like motorcyclists, bicyclists are especially vulnerable and run the risk of being hit by vehicles, increasing their risk of injury and death.
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