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Can what you do when you fall minimize your injuries?

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Can what you do when you fall minimize your injuries?

Old 01-20-21, 07:24 PM
  #26  
canklecat
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
...I have some NASCAR drivers in my neighborhood and they’re taught how to react in a crash. Like some of you have said they tuck and ball up and “roll”. Think about a car going airborne and rolling over alongside track.
I've heard and read some drivers claiming that they do that. But in-car videos rarely show any evidence of defensive posture. Once a car is sideways or airborne at speed the body is just along for the ride, flopping around like a rag doll.

I suspect most amateur cyclists who claim they evaded serious injury through defensive moves just got lucky and attributed it to skill and reflexes. I've seen lots of falls and crashes in local group rides, including with experienced amateur racers, and I've never seen any evidence of skill or choice in the matter. Some just got lucky. Others, not so much and ended up with head injuries.

A couple of years ago I watched a guy on a 20 mph downhill nick an irregular pavement seam and appear to fall relatively gradually. He smacked first on his right side, mostly shoulder, head snapping sideways and striking the pavement. But the real damage was done when he slid about 10 feet into a curb, striking the top of his head. The helmet was toast. He was conscious and talking for a few moments but shock and concussion quickly took over and he went into a circle of repeating the same question about what happened, etc.

In reality landing on the shoulder and sacrificing the collarbone and shoulder is probably a fair trade off for minimizing head strikes on pavement. But I doubt many of us have time to choose how to fall. We may just convince ourselves in retrospect that we had something to do with it.
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Old 01-20-21, 08:27 PM
  #27  
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The fact is you may be able to help yourself in some situations and not in others. Sure, you can practice falling and keep tucked or whatever but luck has a lot to do with it. The last time I fell off was in the dirt and I was on the ground before I knew I was in trouble. There was zero time to react, no sensation of falling. Just turning at low speed, then trying to get a breath after getting the wind knocked out of me.

These threads come up from time to time. I remember one guy said he crashed quite often and he never got hurt because he "knew how to fall". Not long after that he broke his pelvis in a crash.

This thing we do can be quite dangerous. Be careful out there.
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Old 01-20-21, 08:31 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
The fact is you may be able to help yourself in some situations and not in others. Sure, you can practice falling and keep tucked or whatever but luck has a lot to do with it. The last time I fell off was in the dirt and I was on the ground before I knew I was in trouble. There was zero time to react, no sensation of falling. Just turning at low speed, then trying to get a breath after getting the wind knocked out of me.

These threads come up from time to time. I remember one guy said he crashed quite often and he never got hurt because he "knew how to fall". Not long after that he broke his pelvis in a crash.

This thing we do can be quite dangerous. Be careful out there.
I would tend to agree it's situational. I've had plenty where I didn't get hurt. Then I had the sudden dismount with no chance 5 weeks ago (after an encounter with a neighbor's dog) that resulted in five hairline fractures in my pelvis. The only prevention to that one was to stop when the dog came out on the road. Hindsight is 20-20.

I will say I've gotten less aggressive as I've gotten older so accidents aren't happening quite as much.
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Old 01-20-21, 09:15 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
I would tend to agree it's situational. I've had plenty where I didn't get hurt. Then I had the sudden dismount with no chance 5 weeks ago (after an encounter with a neighbor's dog) that resulted in five hairline fractures in my pelvis. The only prevention to that one was to stop when the dog came out on the road. Hindsight is 20-20.

I will say I've gotten less aggressive as I've gotten older so accidents aren't happening quite as much.
I used to ride with a guy who was a career stuntman. He raced and did club rides and as far as I know he never got injured on the bike.
One day he was unloading sacks of lawn fertilizer from his pick-up and when he jumped out of the truck he absolutely blew up his knee and had to have reconstruction surgery.
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Old 01-27-21, 02:41 PM
  #30  
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I think your landing strategy has to be pre-programmed. Practice falling a lot! Otherwise, just do your best to NOT stick a hand out.

The incident that first got me to wear a helmet was this: For background, at the time I was coaching HS diving. I was riding my OLD 10-speed and caught my front wheel. As I was going down, I planted a foot and ended up doing a somersault. I landed on my feet, facing back the way I'd come, and as the bike came down I caught it by the top tube. I stood there for a second waiting for the "TA-DAH!" to sound, and for the judges' scores. Then I realized how lucky I'd been. The only damage was the stem being a little crooked.
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Old 01-27-21, 04:51 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Slow falls are the worst. See post 4. They give you too much time to react wrongly. Blam! is better. OTOH overcooking a turn and going off into the trees or into a stone wall or barrier is not good. When I was skiing downhill, I wouldn't ski a tree-lined course. There are so many ways to screw up. Maybe that's why I've always liked essentially unsafe sports.
I disagree with the "slow falls are the worst...too much time to react...". I was an avid road cyclist for several years before I took up slow technical uphill mtb. It was there that I learned how to properly side-fall at 1-3 mph (hands on bars, elbows in, knees in, feet on pedals, head away from ground, spread the fall across your whole side, etc...) with only receiving light surface wounds. Then after several years of "practicing" and perfecting those mtb falls, I had the opportunity to put those skills to the test in a 27 mph road bike side-fall crash (no immovable objects were in play, just my front tire caught in a deep 1.5" wide parallel expansion gap in the road with no ability to steer or maintain balance). My mtb falling instincts kicked in and I fell to the side in the same mtb style, and then rolled a little, with only deep road rash on my high spots (elbows, knees, wrists, knuckles) from sliding so much, but nothing else. Learning to slow fall is what saved me there, no doubt about it.

On a side note: telling a non-cyclist that you fell at 27 mph doesn't sound like much to them until you tell them "Next time you're driving your car at 27 mph, just imagine opening the car window and jumping out at that speed (with only a thin layer of Lycra to protect you)" It'll open their eyes.
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Old 01-27-21, 06:28 PM
  #32  
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I agree with many others. For injury crashes there was zero time in which to think about how to crash. One second I was riding along, the next instant I was on the ground, usually sliding uncontrollably along, hoping not to be hit by something solid (i.e. tree, car, my bike).
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Old 02-06-21, 10:37 AM
  #33  
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Old 02-09-21, 04:22 PM
  #34  
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Only land in at least 8” of snow, or long grass, on soft ground.
Tim
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Old 02-09-21, 09:53 PM
  #35  
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I understand that drunks fair far better it auto accidents. Just sayin’

(The following comment was not endorsed or promoted by the bicycling safety counsel, or any other made up entity)
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Old 02-10-21, 05:35 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Only land in at least 8” of snow, or long grass, on soft ground.
Tim
April 27, 2020 while riding the Winchester Road Path at 1:25AM a 150+pound wild hog ran into my right leg resulting in a crash. I went off the path to the right, maintained squirrely control until the front wheel dug into the uncut grassy soft soil resulting in a FLIP. Bike was facing the opposite direction and I was facing to the stars. The impact on the soft soil resulted in trauma to my left shoulder, 2 cracked ribs, a punctured lung and a cracked scapula. Maybe I should have been riding where 12 inches or more of soft snow was at the side of the path.

BTW, in 2011 I flipped and landed on grass in a front yard resulting in a minor broken neck, broken clavicle and nerve damage. Maybe snowy conditions might have reduced injuries. x 2
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Old 02-11-21, 01:10 AM
  #37  
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Not a quite a bicycle story, but related in principle. The rear hub of my father's 200cc Vespa scooter failed on me once while I was riding it at 55mph on I-95 in Maine. I was wearing an open face helmet, jeans, t-shirt, running shoes, and a windbreaker. The hub momentarily locked up before it began to resonate back and forth before finally locking up at an angle. This snapped the bike out from under me as it began to tumble. I remember looking forward straight down the interstate as the horizon rotated 130 degrees while I rolled in the air. Then, I did what I had been mentally preparing myself to do in an accident: I pulled into a fetal position, closed my eyes, and tried to relax.

I don't remember the impact but after I came to a stop I limped off of the road out of traffic. Several cars behind me stopped to render assistance and two of their drivers commented about how well I rolled. I dragged the scooter and debris off into the shoulder and one of the passerby's took me to the hospital where I was bandaged up. I was beat up all over and my shoes and all of my clothes were shredded. The top left side of my helmet was ground down well into the fiberglass. I had road rash on my knees, elbows, shoulders, hips, and one ankle. Luckily I didn't have a concussion or any broken bones. The worst part was that I had to fly home to the Midwest the next day. I've never been so sore all over limping through those airports with two heavy bags! Although accidents often happen fast and I was very lucky, I do think that we can mentally prepare for them and affect their outcomes.
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Old 02-11-21, 04:16 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
April 27, 2020 while riding the Winchester Road Path at 1:25AM a 150+pound wild hog ran into my right leg resulting in a crash. I went off the path to the right, maintained squirrely control until the front wheel dug into the uncut grassy soft soil resulting in a FLIP. Bike was facing the opposite direction and I was facing to the stars. The impact on the soft soil resulted in trauma to my left shoulder, 2 cracked ribs, a punctured lung and a cracked scapula. Maybe I should have been riding where 12 inches or more of soft snow was at the side of the path.

BTW, in 2011 I flipped and landed on grass in a front yard resulting in a minor broken neck, broken clavicle and nerve damage. Maybe snowy conditions might have reduced injuries. x 2
Sorry, I guess the grass wasn’t long enough.
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Old 02-13-21, 06:00 AM
  #39  
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Shattered

Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I had a backwards fall on an icy sidewalk a few years ago and tried to use my arm to break the fall. I kept my head from hitting the concrete, but I also broke my wrist - a Colles fracture. Had surgery to set it and put in a plate, 3 weeks for the bones to heal and 12 weeks PT to restore the freedom of motion, and started retirement after going back to work. It wasn't just a fall!
I was 3 steps up a ladder, turned around to grab some more tarp, literally stepped out into space..slid down the 3 rungs, landed on my hand, shattered my wrist. This was a few years ago... that wrist and hand will never be the same.

But it all happened in the blink of an eye...
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Old 02-13-21, 12:32 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
..................I have some NASCAR drivers in my neighborhood and they’re taught how to react in a crash. Like some of you have said they tuck and ball up and “roll”. Think about a car going airborne and rolling over alongside track.
Maybe pre-D.E's. fatal Daytona 500 crash but today's seats are Wrap Around Form Made, 6 Point Harness Straps, the use of Hans Device = no way can a driver "BALL UP" They are told to KEEP HANDS OFF THE STREERING WHEEL

Want to buy a Racing Seat >>> https://thejoieofseating.com/

Some are constructed of CF

HANS Device >>>

https://competitionmotorsport.com/ha...iABEgK2lfD_BwE
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Old 02-13-21, 04:48 PM
  #41  
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It depends on the crash, and your reaction speed and muscle memory. I once ended up without a scratch after flying over 200 feet at 60+ mph (motorcycle wreck), because I did everything right in the fall. I wound up in ER after falling off a fixed gear going around a turn, when I didn't react at all. If you can react, and know how, you can sometimes avoid injury in any fall. If you can't or don't, it's random luck either way.
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Old 02-14-21, 04:03 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Maybe pre-D.E's. fatal Daytona 500 crash but today's seats are Wrap Around Form Made, 6 Point Harness Straps, the use of Hans Device = no way can a driver "BALL UP" They are told to KEEP HANDS OFF THE STREERING WHEEL

Want to buy a Racing Seat >>> https://thejoieofseating.com/

Some are constructed of CF

HANS Device >>>

https://competitionmotorsport.com/ha...iABEgK2lfD_BwE

Yes, this was before the HANS device. One of my neighbors was the first driver to go to DE’s crashed car.
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