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Prevent injury during an over-the-handlebars bike crash

One of the most common kinds of bike crashes involves getting the front tire caught on something, which sends the bicyclist over the handlebars. These over-the-handlebars bike accidents can also happen if a cyclist applies too much brake to the front tire.

If you're quick enough after an over-the-handlebars crash, you may be able to avoid injury.

What to do when you go over the handlebars on your bike

Imagine your front wheel falls into a drain cover. Or, maybe you ride directly into a tree log, a park bench or a small animal. The end result is that your bike stops in its tracks but momentum keeps you moving forward. Next, you're flying over the handlebars toward the pavement and a serious injury is likely.

The way you react to this situation could worsen your injuries, or help prevent them. The most important thing you should do first, as you're flying through the air, is to extend the leading arm in the direction of the ground to absorb some of the income. Also, bow your head, tucking your chin to your chest. Use your other arm to protect your head.

When the leading arm makes contact with the ground, allow your body to roll over the shoulder of that arm. If your head is properly tucked in, you'll come to rest on your back. You're not out of harm's way yet, however, because your bike will be coming in your direction. Be careful that you continue to protect your head in case the bike falls on you.

Who's liable for an over-the-handlebars bike crash?

Every bike accident scenario is different and, in a lot of cases, the bicyclist him- or herself will be to blame for the collision. However, if the bicyclist hits an object on a sidewalk or road -- and the collision leads to an accident and injuries -- then the party responsible for the object being there could be financially liable.

Perhaps a city or municipality failed to clear the road in a timely fashion. Perhaps a negligent person recklessly left an item somewhere that could lead to a cycling crash. Following any serious bicycle crash, injured parties may want to investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine if any parties may be liable.

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