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As a bicyclist, you take certain risks when you share the road with cars and other large motorized vehicles, including death as a result of an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission notes that nearly 860 people died in bicycle crashes with vehicles in 2018, despite safety and traffic laws to protect them.

There are several injuries you might suffer in such an incident, and understanding their nature and the risk may help you remain more vigilant about biking safety while you are out on the road.

Head trauma

If a vehicle strikes your bicycle, there is a good chance that the force of the crash will knock you off your bike. The faster the car is traveling, the stronger the force of the impact, which could increase the risk of head trauma when you strike the pavement. Wearing a helmet may decrease this risk, but if a vehicle hits you at a high rate of speed, you still may suffer intracranial bleeding or a skull fracture.

Broken bones

The sheer weight and power of a large SUV or truck has the ability to fracture almost any bone in your body during a crash, or you might suffer such an injury when you are thrown off your bicycle. Compound fractures, where the bone breaks outward and pierces the skin, are especially common in this case.

Paralysis

Bicycling accidents may cause permanent injuries, such as spinal fractures. Both partial and complete paralysis are possible, depending on the severity of the accident.

You can lower the risk of biking accidents by obeying the rules of the road and riding defensively, such as avoiding bicycling at night. While you cannot prevent every possible crash, maintaining a focus on safety may help keep you safer.