Bicycle Accidents: Common Injuries and Their Consequences

Bicycle accidents are a widespread concern, leading to hundreds of cyclists seeking medical treatment annually in Massachusetts and nationwide. While some injuries may be minor, others can have severe and lasting impacts on an individual’s health and well-being. In this article, we explore the most common injuries resulting from bicycle accidents, shedding light on their implications and emphasizing the importance of preventive measures.

Concussion/Head Injuries:

Head injuries are a significant risk for cyclists, with 25% to 50% of injured bicyclists experiencing concussions or other head injuries. These injuries are a leading cause of bicycle accident fatalities, accounting for over 60% of such incidents. From mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries, the consequences can range from minor symptoms to life-altering conditions. Properly fitting helmets play a crucial role in preventing head injuries, emphasizing the importance of protective gear for cyclists of all ages.

Spinal Cord Injuries:

Bicycle accidents contribute to approximately 10% of spinal cord injuries, often resulting in fractures, nerve damage, or damage to spinal disks. These injuries can lead to permanent changes in strength, sensation, and body function below the injury site. While helmets can protect against head injuries, there is currently no protective gear that shields cyclists from spinal cord injuries. Understanding the devastating impact of spinal cord injuries is vital, as they can cause paralysis, alter bodily functions, and, in some cases, prove fatal.

Facial Injuries:

Careless motorists can cause cyclists to sustain facial injuries, ranging from cuts and bruises to fractures in the 14 bones of the face. Broken noses, dislocated jaws, eye trauma, and dental injuries are common consequences of bicycle accidents. Studies show that bicycle helmets can significantly reduce the risk of facial injuries, emphasizing the importance of wearing protective gear. Facial injuries not only pose immediate physical challenges but can also result in long-term consequences such as nerve damage, infections, and scarring.

Broken Bones:

Cyclists’ exposed body parts make them vulnerable to impact injuries, affecting collarbones, hands, wrists, hips, pelvises, femurs, arms, and feet. Collarbone fractures, hand and wrist injuries from falls, and broken hips or pelvises are common in bicycle accidents. Multiple fractures in one incident are not uncommon. The risk of broken bones piercing internal organs adds a life-threatening dimension to these injuries. Surgery is often required to repair broken bones, and individuals with implanted hardware may face long-term complications such as arthritis.


Bicycle accidents can have profound consequences, ranging from temporary setbacks to life-altering injuries. Understanding the most common injuries resulting from these accidents is crucial for both cyclists and the broader community. Promoting awareness, safety measures, and helmet use is crucial to prevent and reduce the impact of bicycle accidents. As cyclists hit the road, it is imperative to prioritize safety to ensure a secure and enjoyable riding experience for all.

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