We have all seen the news recently regarding the scrutiny that is being placed on certain collision sports with regards to their inherent risks of traumatic brain injuries. Football at all levels is coming under fire, and legislatures across the United States are enacting statutes that require precaution when a football player suffers a head injury. Hockey is another sport that is being closely watched, particularly in Canada. However, the sports that people tend to think of when traumatic brain injuries are mentioned are not the only ones that are leading to a significant amount of harm for people.
That notion was reinforced recently when the American Association of Neurological Surgeons released data that dealt with the number of traumatic brain injuries suffered by people who participate in different sports. To the surprise of many, the leading sport on this dubious list was bicycling. According to their data, approximately 447,000 brain injuries were suffered by people participating in all sports activities in 2009. Bicycling was the sport that was involved with the highest number of them, and the list of the leading sports breaks down as follows:
- Bicycling - 86,000
- Football - 47,000
- Baseball - 38,394
This information appeared recently in the New York Times, and the data that was provided also broke down the number of traumatic brain injuries suffered by participants in different sports who were younger than 14. More than 40,000 people within this age group suffered brain injuries while bicycling in 2009, which were nearly double the 21,000 people who suffered traumatic brain injuries while playing football.
While this data has been met with surprise by many people, it does appear to make sense for several different reasons. Obviously, many more people ride bicycles on a regular basis than play football, and older adults are obviously more likely to ride a bicycle than to participate in any other sport on the list. Not to mention, bicycle helmets are not worn by everyone who climbs onto a bicycle seat, and people are much more likely to suffer a serious head injury if they are involved in an accident if they are not wearing a helmet.
What this data should do is prompt people who are in a position to do something to take steps to provide more protection for people who ride bicycles and provide more incentive for riders to protect their heads from harm. There are already awareness programs in existence in cities across the country, particularly in those where bicycle riding is common and people are somewhat used to sharing the roads with those who travel in this manner.
Serving clients as traumatic brain injury lawyers does not allow us to enact any type of requirements, but we can and we will help to raise the level of awareness with regards to this growing danger for people of all ages. If you or someone you love has suffered a head injury because of the actions of someone else, contact the Scarlett Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.