It’s that time of year again when everyone overindulges in holiday treats and rich meals. There’s little way of escaping it really between coworkers testing out their baking skills, gift baskets showing up at the office or at home, holiday parties, family get togethers – it’s a true delight. You’re not going to deprive yourself because like so many others across the country, your New Year’s resolution is going to be getting in shape whether it be through joining the gym or purchasing your own exercise equipment.

Cycling has been a craze for quite a while between riders who enjoy cycling out in the fresh air and others who prefer the safe solace of their living rooms. Even if you haven’t yet subscribed to becoming a cycler, it’s hard not to notice the fun and alluring Peloton commercials that have been playing at an increasing rate since summer ended. Whether your style is a road bike or spinning cycle, you are at risk for falling victim to some serious personal injuries.

Cycling accounts for 2% of road fatalities but deaths have increased 25% since 2010 with 777 bicyclists being killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2017. Accident-related fatalities occur frequently when road riding. Right hooks, where a vehicle is making a right turn as a cyclist is heading straight, are often deadly.

While rare, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have increased to include chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head causing the brain to degenerate. Cyclists who are involved in frequent accidents may be at risk for CTE and could experience impulse control, depression, and dementia over time.

More likely is the occasional bike crash leaving the rider with a concussion. A single event may not be as worrisome, but cyclists who have previously had one or more concussions are at greater risk. That said, being hit by a car can cause a much more severe TBI in a single instance.

Bike lanes aren’t always so safe

Bike lanes offer little protection from injuries given that they’re nothing more than painted lines on the ground in random locations. They’re seldom regulated when it comes to traffic rules and who has the right-of-way despite road bikes being considered vehicles. Public education about bike lanes is virtually non-existent.

Hazards of protected bike lanes tend to be more plentiful. Lanes may be too narrow causing cyclists to crash. Bike lanes may be protected by a barrier of parked cars where doors may open into the lane. Other path barriers may involve abutting driveways and alleyways where vehicles are exiting over the path of the “protected” bike lane causing crashes.

Road bikes aren’t your only concern

According to Independent, spinning classes can be as hazardous as being crushed by a car. Think about the for a moment. Exercise can cause the same severe internal injury that a multi-ton, high speed car crash can cause.

New spinning converts can overdo it and cause kidney failure from rhabdomyolysis – a condition doctors see in some car accident victims. This severe breakdown of muscles can also lead to cardiac arrest if the condition becomes serious enough. Symptoms to be concerned about include dark urine, muscle aches, nausea and feeling weak.

The trick is to pace yourself when first starting out if you are new to exercising. Pushing yourself too hard too fast with spinning classes can have deadly consequences. If you are new to spinning, you should be given guidance on what the appropriate level of activity is for your experience level to avoid injury.

Cycling is a love it or hate it physical activity. If you love it, it becomes a way of life almost to the point of an addiction. Unfortunately, trying to do something healthy for yourself can turn into tragedy under the wrong circumstances. You can lose your life, or your mind if you have the misfortune of overexerting yourself or being caught in the middle of someone else’s negligence.

The insightful Alabama personal injury attorneys at Mezrano Law Firm will be here to help you when your life has taken an unpredictable turn because you have been avoidably harmed. You have a right to understand the remedies that you may be entitled to under the law. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation reach out to us through our contact page, or call 205-206-6300 to schedule an appointment. For your convenience we have offices located in Birmingham, Mobile, Florence, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, and Montgomery. Don’t wait. Give us a call today.