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Bicyclist Suffers Broken Neck in Collision With Drunk Driver

Authorities in Canandaigua, NY are reporting that two bicyclists were seriously injured – one of them suffering a broken neck – when they were struck by a 49-year-old drunk driver plowed into them from behind while they were riding on the road’s shoulder. neck

It happened around 4:30 p.m. on a Sunday. The female bicyclist was diagnosed with a broken neck, and although she was expected to survive, she was only listed in fair condition and it’s believed her recovery time will be extensive, according to The Democrat & Chronicle.

The vehicle driver was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated vehicular assault, reckless driving, failure to keep right and aggravated driving while intoxicated. Because he had two prior felony convictions, he was being held without bail. The aggravated vehicular assault charge stemmed from the fact that his blood-alcohol concentration was 0.18 or higher. 

Spinal injuries for victims of Boston bicycle accidents are unfortunately all too common. Even when they are not fatal, they can result in severe pain, long-term disability and paralysis.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the majority of bicycle accident neck injuries occur from overuse, usually as a result of hyperextension of the neck during rides. But traumatic injury to the neck and other spinal injuries certainly do occur, and may be more common where a driver is drunk and makes no effort to take evasive action to prevent a serious accident.

Researching physicians reported that, “Only rarely do injuries involve neck trauma, which usually occurs in riders who collide with a motor vehicle.”

A neck injury can either be muscular – such as whiplash – or it can involve trauma to the spine.

Whiplash occurs when there is a sudden distortion of the neck – either hyperextension or over-extension. In many cases, whiplash occurs when an individual is struck from behind, usually by a fast-moving vehicle. Tendons or ligaments become strained, and the result is intense pain that could take months to heal – even though nothing is broken.

Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Loss or reduction of movement in the neck;
  • Neck pain;
  • Neck stiffness;
  • Neck tenderness;
  • Headaches;
  • Dizziness;
  • Muscle spasms;
  • Fatigue.

Spinal cord injuries, meanwhile, tend to be more serious. It should be noted that in general, bicycling is preferred over other exercise by those who suffer back pain because it’s easier on the spine. However, when someone is tossed from the bike – especially after being struck with the full weight of a sizable truck or car – spinal cord injuries are more likely to occur and they are often severe.

Unfortunately, even riders wearing helmets aren’t necessarily protected from this type of injury, per research from The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Other research has concluded that while males overall are more likely to suffer injury in bicycle accidents (they tend to ride more and be willing to take their chances next to vehicular traffic), women are actually slightly more likely to suffer spinal cord injuries then male riders because they are lighter, and thus more likely to be thrown over the handlebars – which is the most common cause of traumatic spinal cord injuries in bicycle accidents.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Boston bicycle accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 617-777-7777.

Additional Resources:

Deputies: Canandaigua bicyclist breaks neck in collision with drunk driver, June 20, 2016, By Jon Hand, Democrat & Chronicle

More Blog Entries:

Boston Bike Accident Lawyers Advocate for More Bike Lanes, May 14, 2016, Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyer Blog

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