Caution to All Bike Riders; Bicycle Accidents Causing Closed-head Injuries Can Be Fatal

It only takes a moment to wind up in the emergency room these days. Bicyclists, runners, and even average pedestrians should use caution when near vehicular traffic or exercising in the evening hours. We bring this up because of the news today that “7 Habits” author, Stephen Covey, passed away following a protracted hospital stay; following a cycling accident back in April, he had received a traumatic brain injury that apparently led to fatal complications.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we understand that no one can fully protect themselves from the various and sundry dangers confronting people on a regular basis each and every day. From passenger car and commercial trucking collisions to trip-and-fall mishaps at home, the potential for bodily injury is always there. Similarly, the opportunity for critical or even fatal traffic wrecks, pedestrian accidents or truck crashes are ever-present within our densely populated cities and urban areas, such as Baltimore, Gaithersburg and Washington, D.C.

The bicycle accident which seems to have precipitated Mr. Covey’s death provides just one more example of the dangers that face every rider, young or old. In Mr. Covey’s case, the bike crash occurred late last April as he was reportedly riding down an incline near Provo, UT, a ways south of Salt Lake City. Although no other vehicles were involved, Covey did have an assistant riding with him, according to local police.

Based on reports, he apparently went too fast into a corner and could not negotiate the tight turn. When the bike crashed, Covey reportedly hit his head on the pavement. Earlier news reports stated that he was wearing a cycling helmet at the time of the accident; however those articles also stated that he sustained what sounded like a fairly severe head injury in spite of his safety equipment.

When police and other emergency responders arrived at the crash site, they reportedly found the victim unconscious. He was taken to the hospital where it was reported that he had some internal bleeding, but no other signs of head trauma.

That was on April 20, when the man’s daughter told reporters that doctors were monitoring her father in the ICU ward; especially concerned about bleeding on the frontal lobe of Mr. Covey’s brain. According to news articles at the time, head scans did not indicate any increased swelling or bleeding. With the potential of continued or increased pressure caused by internal hemorrhaging of the brain, doctors indicated that there was a chance that they may have to go into the victim’s skull and attempt to relieve the pressure by draining fluid.

Sadly, almost three months after that accident, Stephen Covey succumbed to his injuries. According to news reports, he died from the lingering effects of that bike crash in April.

This is one scenario of many that anyone who has lost a loved one through a similar injury can identify. Closed-head injuries can be complex and many times life threatening. While outwardly the victim may appear only slightly hurt, trauma to the brain and surrounding tissues and blood vessels can pose serious risks to a patient’s prospects. Even if one survives, there always exists the chance for permanent disability, as well as the need for long-term care. All we can add is that every cyclist and pedestrian take care to avoid situations that could result in a collision with a car or truck, and steer clear of poorly maintained roadways that could cause a rider to crash unexpectedly.

‘7 Habits’ author Stephen Covey dies at 79,, July 16, 2012

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