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Minnesota bicycle accidents lower than average

One of the downsides of more and more people embracing the healthy benefits of bicycling is that more people end up getting injured in a bicycle crash. According to a study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, hospital rates of admission caused by cycling injuries have more than doubled in the last 15 years. Between 1998 and 2013, cycling related injuries for which people went to the emergency room rose 28 percent.

The more surprising piece of information the study uncovered is that older bicyclists-people over the age of 45-caused the increase in injuries. The proportion of cycling related injuries of people aged 45 or older increased from 23 percent to 42 percent between 1998 and 2013. Hospitalizations shot up by 66 percent, from 39 percent to 64 percent. Elderly Minnesota bikers are below this average, with 28 percent of cyclists who were injured in a crash over the age of 45.

Bicycling seems to be getting safer across the state, as injuries caused by a collision with a vehicle decreased 8 percent in 2014 from 2013. Most of the street crashes that did take place involved riders younger than 25 years of age and all five fatalities caused by bike accidents were of bikers under the age of 40.

Perhaps the reason more older bikers are hospitalized is simply that-because they are older. The study's senior author explained that an older biker will typically have more severe injuries than a younger one. This leads to the conclusion that their injuries will require more medical attention which leads to medical bills.

Getting injured in a bicycle accident, regardless of age, causes not only pain and discomfort to the accident victim but also a monetary loss. If the victim is older, the medical bills may be higher and more difficult to cover. Compensation received through a personal injury lawsuit may be one way Minnesota accident victims can get coverage for their medical bills.

Source: Minnpost.com, "Most cyclists hospitalized for injuries are over age 45, study finds," Susan Perry, Sept. 4, 2015

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