In case you haven’t already taken a spill while riding your bike down the street all weebly-wobbly after “accidentally” imbibing too many drinks (and if you haven’t, you haven’t really lived), here’s some news for you: Drunk biking is the second most likely cause of injury to cyclists, per a new NYU Medical Center study. Not wearing a helmet was the first.
Out of 143 cyclists injured and brought to the Bellevue ER between 2008 and 2009:
76 percent had not been wearing helmets, 13 percent had consumed alcohol, and 5 percent had been listening to music.
The percentage of those injured while doing all three was not reported.
Also, 87 percent were men. 36 percent of the accidents involved cars, and 35 percent involved yellow cabs. Fatalities, fortunately, occurred in less than 1 percent of incidents.
The researchers, somehow, were surprised by what they found about drinking, even though we certainly aren’t. The moral of the story, kids: If you must drink and bike, wear a helmet! And if you’re so drunk you can’t ride straight, lie down in the gutter or some other cozy spot and sleep it off for a while before you attempt to peddle home. Better safe than sorry.
On the bright side, if you fall off your bike after six too many beers, it hurts way less than falling off your bike sober.