Biking was a common transportation mode decades ago, and as cars and similar vehicles became more affordable, we slowly forgot about using them as adults. Most of the time, kids use bikes, so we see fewer adults riding them to work or even recreationally.
However, in the past years, we’ve noticed a considerable rise in the number of people who are cycling regularly. In the UK, around 7,610,500 cycling participants were recorded to use bikes for sport, leisure and travel, which, compared to 2016 when there were only 5,000,000, is enormous.
There are a few reasons why people started cycling again eagerly. First, the sustainability issue encourages individuals to decrease their input to CO2 that cars usually have and contribute to better air quality by biking. At the same time, the significant increase is also due to people wanting to get out of the house and experience nature better since they’ve been locked in their houses during the pandemic.
Unfortunately, biking is not entirely safe as long as there are cars around the roads, too. So, bikers are prone to certain types of accidents. We’ll get through some of the most common and then identify proper treatment and recovery from physical and psychological trauma.
Frequent bike accidents people should be aware of
If you’re used to biking and are riding the roads with no fear, you may think twice before sliding between cars. That’s because you need proper equipment to be safe, such as a helmet, reflective accessories and even pads for your joints. At the same time, you must learn and respect all the traffic laws and rules so you won’t get in someone’s way.
A frequent accident cause includes losing control of the bike, which happens when the bicyclist uses the wrong type of bike, a mechanical failure occurs, or they ride on hazardous road surfaces. Sometimes, even animal attacks lead to accidents, as some people prefer to cycle in nature.
On the other hand, a considerable number of cyclists experience accidents, including collisions with another vehicle. Drivers either don’t see the cyclist or don’t ensure they have enough space on the road, which can lead to severe injuries for the one who bikes. These situations make the case of an accident claim that can offer the cyclist the deserved financial help to get through treatment, according to https://www.accidentclaims.co.uk/.
Can you recover fast after a collision with a car?
Recovery time depends on the gravity of the accident, your access to healthcare and the strength of your body. Generally, it takes about two months for the body to recover from mild injuries but serious ones will require more time, such as broken bones.
The treatment you receive will also be done in relation to the type of health problem. For instance, injured tendons, ligaments or bones will get better with RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). You can reduce swelling during sleep by elevating the injured body part above the heart level. If your injury is not that challenging, you can get over-the-counter medication, like ibuprofen, to handle inflammation.
Homoeopathic remedies are as efficient if you find it difficult to move after total recovery. Massage, acupuncture and the services of a chiropractor might help you get back on track after a few sessions of care.
What about recovering mentally?
Experiencing a severe injury or even a mild one can leave people traumatised, especially when they’re less powerless on the road. Of course, drivers can also get injuries due to whiplash, for instance, but they’re protected by an entire vehicle, while cyclists are frontally hit in these situations.
The first response after such an event would be to never bike again due to fear. In some cases, even thinking about this sport can trigger unpleasant memories, which, in the long term, will affect your mental state. Sometimes, feelings and emotions can get so intense that you experience intrusive memories, become avoidant, and your moods change suddenly, which is the case of PTSD, a typical response to traumatic events.
Depending on the severity of the accident, PTSD symptoms may be present for as long as a few years, but generally, it takes a few months for a person to truly recover mentally. Some of the ways in which such PTSD can be adequately handled include the following:
- Cognitive therapy helps you relax, get back your self-esteem and manage your emotions more rationally;
- Exposure therapy increases your ability to handle fear and sensitivity to past events;
- EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) helps identify triggers and repair the damage resulting from trauma memories;
- Medications, like antidepressants, can be useful if you experience intense nightmares, but they must be taken under a doctor’s surveillance;
Accidents may have risen due to increased pedal cycle traffic
We’re wondering why the number of accidents between cars and cyclists has increased in the past years if roads are safe. Some of the causes include the worrying cases of road rage that the UK is confronted with, which makes drivers lose control of their emotions while driving and speeding up or intentionally teasing other road participants.
At the same time, the number of pedal cycle traffic increased considerably between 2004 and 2020 by 96% in the UK. It seems like in 2020, more than 4,000 cyclists were seriously injured due to mostly car crashes. What’s more interesting is that most crashes happen on rural roads, where drivers tend to speed up a little bit more than in regular traffic.
Bike crashes happen all the time, and the causes are multiple, from inefficient gear to wet roads. While these triggers don’t usually lead to severe accidents, collisions with cars and other vehicles can be deadly. Even serious injuries require consistent treatment and recovery time for both the body and the mind because cyclists can develop PTSD after such an accident. In order to get through such a challenging period, they must rest as much as possible and seek improved ways of healing, such as RICE and cognitive therapy.