When to Go to the ER for a Bike Accident

Sports Injuries

May 16, 2023


For many cyclists, experiencing a bike accident while riding is always a risk. Although some biking-related injuries can be fairly minor, some can result in severe injuries that require a trip to the emergency room. Because cycling is a very common hobby in both Texas and Colorado Springs, we see a plethora of patients who need care after a bike fall or crash.

This Bike Safety Month, we want to educate all cyclists on how to determine if your injuries after a bike accident warrant medical attention. Knowing when to seek help could be the difference between nursing a long-term injury and getting right back on the bike.

What are the most common causes of bicycle accidents?

Unfortunately, serious bike accidents are often caused by colliding with a motor vehicle. Drivers and cyclists often have to share roads and intersections, especially in cities like Houston, and if just one party isn’t careful, disaster can strike. 

Bike accidents can also occur on the cyclist’s behalf. What is the most common bicycle injury? In the emergency room, we often see cases of infected cycling road rash where the wound is dirty and there is likely excessive bleeding. Other common bicycle fall injuries often happen due to the person speeding on the bike, making abrupt turns, colliding with other cyclists, or biking on unsafe terrain. 

A bike accident could happen at any time and for any reason, so knowing when to seek medical care is crucial for your recovery process.

When to go to the ER after a bike accident

If you fall off of your bike or are in a collision and immediately think, “Why does my body hurt after a bike accident?” This is a good indicator that you may need to seek help. 

First, try not to move too much and take a few deep breaths. Adrenaline after an accident can cause our brains to overlook certain injuries. Then, try to move your limbs and see what injuries may have occurred. If you notice any of the following injuries, have someone take you to the nearest emergency room.

1. Deep cuts

Cuts and scrapes are bound to happen after any bike accident; however, deep cuts have a higher risk of infection and other complications that require immediate attention. Larger cuts can be more difficult to clean and close properly, meaning they likely won’t heal on their own.

If you notice that the cut is deep enough to where you can see exposed muscle tissue (red) or fat tissue (yellow) or the sides of the wound gape open, head to the ER to get it looked at. Any cuts that occur on the face or on top of a joint should also be looked at for further damage.

2. Excessive bleeding

Apply pressure to any wounds for a few minutes and evaluate the state. If there is excessive bleeding after a few minutes, either call for medical attention or have someone take you to the ER. Continue to apply pressure until help arrives. Excessive blood loss can lead to shock which can be life-threatening if not tended to immediately. 

3. Concussion 

If your helmet has fallen off after a bike accident or is dented or cracked, there is a chance that you could have also hit your head. If you feel disoriented or dizzy or are going in and out of consciousness, you could have a concussion and should have someone bring you to the emergency room. Medical professionals will know how to treat a concussion properly to prevent any damage.

4. Broken bones

It is highly possible that after a bike accident, you could suffer from broken bones. However, what happens after you break a bone is that the adrenaline released after the impact can trick your body into not experiencing the full range of pain. In other words, you may not even notice that you’re hurt. 

A clear sign of a broken bone is that you have difficulty moving the area, there is swelling and bruising, and in more severe cases, you may notice deformities or even bones protruding from the skin. 

In any case, it is always safer to be thoroughly examined by a medical professional after any bike accident to ensure that there were no severe injuries.

Come to Complete Care for quality bike accident injury treatment

Suffered from a bike accident? Regardless of how minor or severe your injuries may be, Complete Care can provide you with the care you need in a timely manner. With low wait times and hospital-grade facilities, our staff can get you back on your bike in no time.

We have 24/7 ER locations all over Texas (Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth, East Texas, Lubbock, and San Antonio) and in Colorado Springs

More Helpful Articles by Complete Care: