Bicycling is a popular activity among many in New Mexico, young and old. However, some bicyclists may be more vulnerable than others. A recent study that has been reported in the major national news media indicates that, on average, 600 children, between the ages of 5 and 17, get significantly hurt in bicycle accidents every day. This number was derived from the fact that, between 2006 through 2015, 2.2 million patients in this age group had to visit an emergency room because of a bicycle accident.
Thankfully, the fact that a child had to visit an emergency room did not always mean an injury was permanent or required long-term rehabilitation. However, in some cases, just over 1 in 10, the child suffered a traumatic brain injury of some sort. Even minor traumatic brain injuries can have lasting consequences for a victim.
Among those children who got hurt, males in their tweens and early teens were particularly hard hit. Many of the members of this group prefer not to wear bicycle helmets. It is also worth noting that, at this age, a child may need to get around to a variety of social and other activities, but are too young to drive.
This study did not break down the causes of these children’s bicycle accidents, but it is still fair to say that not all of these where the bicyclist’s fault. In many cases, a distracted driver, a drunk driver or even a driver who just does not have good bicycle awareness can simply miss the fact that a young bicyclist is nearby and hit him or her as a result.
Even if it was not intentional, a bicycle accident involving a child can wreak emotional havoc on both the child and his or her parents. Additionally, the child may have to recover from serious physical injuries, and the child’s parents may have to pay the bill for them. In these sorts of situations, a personal injury lawsuit may be an option.