Web Extra: Cyclist says she is lucky to be alive after traumatic fall


BRYANT, Ark. – What started as a casual weekend bike ride turned into a cyclist being flipped off her bike, flung into the air, and landing directly on her head. 

On Sunday, Paula Anderson was out with her cycling group, The Mello Velo Cycling Club, when she says she turned to check traffic off Cantrell Rd. 

The next moments she doesn’t recall. 

“I got a concussion from it but if that’s the worst – I didn’t have any brain swelling or anything,” says Anderson. “I think that’s what it protected me from.” 

Despite suffering a concussion, a broken clavicle, scrapes, and bruising, Anderson says she is lucky. 

“I absolutely have to thank my helmet,” explains Anderson. “I mean if my head had taken this amount of impact – it cracked the stereophone on the inside of the helmet.” 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and fatalities from bicycle crashes. 

Anderson says she believes her helmet not only saved her life, but ultimately her brain. 

“I consider myself lucky because I think I could have easily been a critical case for the hospital,” Anderson says. “It happened that fast – one minute I am riding and the next I am on the ground  looking around not knowing what had happened.” 

The Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas is a resource that new and avid cyclists can utilize as a resource to obtain more information on best cycling practices. 

Arkansas is one of the few states that does not require adults to wear a helmet when riding a bike. 

For more information on best cycling practices or connect with a cycling group, click here

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