Bike accidents without helmets are far more likely to result in death or brain trauma than ones where the cyclist’s head was properly protected. Without a properly fitting bicycle helmet, one is much more likely to endure a head trauma or brain injury than is a rider with proper head protection. According to the Bike Helmet Safety Institute, 57 percent of bicycle-related fatalities can be prevented by using a protective helmet. If you don’t like how your helmet looks, or how it makes your hair look, or anything else — it is worth your time to find solutions that work for you instead of skipping the helmet. Depending on the circumstances, this reduction might be across the board, reducing your compensation for medical expenses by 50%, your compensation for lost wages by 50%, your pain and suffering compensation by 50%, etc. So if we are reckless enough to walk or ride around without a helmet in these situations where we are statistically more likely to sustain a head injury, then is it really worse to not wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bike? Concussion is a common injury in cycling, but all too often it’s considered “just concussion”, a fate far better than a broken collarbone or fractured wrist. In several other regional studies, that percentage has been shown to be as high as 97%. Epidemiology of bicycle injuries and risk factors for serious injury. In California, suffering bicycle injuries without helmets does not mean cyclists have no legal recourse when seeking compensation.. It’s like stirring up a hornet’s nest. Motorcycle helmets save lives and prevent devastating and debilitating head injuries. Some say it reduces their ability to see around them. Many people who don’t wear a helmet while biking have what they consider to be a good reason not to. 26,000 children and adolescents are treated in emergency rooms for traumatic brain injuries due to bicycle-related accidents every year. It is true. COVID-19 Update: Bay Area Bicycle Law, P.C. firm to specialize in An essential component of education is wearing a properly fitted helmet. I’m not saying that every traumatic brain injury caused by a bicycle crash could be prevented with a helmet, but we know from proven research that many of them could. You are actually LESS likely to get a serious head trauma injury on your bike than you are when you are simply walking around town or even riding in a car. With more than 50% of cyclists not wearing helmets, this is not surprising! Any time someone raises their voice against mandatory bike helmet laws, it unleashes a torrent of testimonies about traumatic brain injuries of cyclists who crashed without a helmet. Motorcyclists who ride without helmets run a significantly greater risk of death or permanent injury. , over 60% of deaths in bicycle crashes were people who were NOT wearing a helmet. In several other regional studies, that percentage has been shown to be as high as 97%. “. 22. Trust me when I say that no amount of financial recovery is worth facing a life of severe disabilities and ongoing medical problems. You will speak with an experienced attorney; just call 415-466-8717 for a free, no obligation consultation. While half the states in this nation have helmet use laws in the books that apply to young bicyclists, none of these laws apply to all riders. The fact is that it is unsafe to engage in this sort of behavior. Better to be protected than unprotected. I’d say that in the 30 preceding years of cycling, I wore a helmet on more than 99 percent of my rides. Reference: Rivara FP, Thompson DC, Thompson RS. And here at Bay Area Bicycle Law, we highly recommend that you wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Bicycle injuries Encourage kids to get outside and play. These groups account for 6 of 10 injuries seen in emergency rooms in the US. Wearing a bike helmet also reduces the chances of a head injury by 50%, serious head injury … Let’s just cut right to the chase: I haven’t worn a bike helmet in five months. Even if you do regain consciousness, you may struggle with cognitive and intellectual difficulties, communication problems, behavioral changes, emotional problems, and even degenerative brain disease. Yes, you could still die even when wearing your helmet, but it is far, far less likely than if you weren’t. In 1989, Dian… Not to mention the fact that surviving a crash without serious brain trauma is far, far preferable than surviving with serious brain trauma. Yes, you could still die even when wearing your helmet, but it is far, far less likely than if you weren’t. Some say they are uncomfortable. Your brain is precious cargo. And yet, millions of people (more than half of all cyclists) choose not to wear a helmet when they head out on the road. Defined, traumatic brain injury refers to a blow or injury to the head that causes brain dysfunction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using a helmet can reduce the risk of suffering a head injury by 67%. Many times these cyclists have head injuries and, sometimes, these injuries occur in cyclists who were not wearing a helmet. Helmets don’t just protect your brain; they also protect your face. Studies have shown that wearing a bike helmet reduces your risk of serious head injury by about 70 percent. Over 135 deaths, 40,000 head injuries, and 20,000 scalp and face injuries suffered by children between ages 4 and 15 can be reduced through the use of bicycle helmets. Maybe pedestrians and car drivers should be wearing helmets too, but just because they don’t doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t either. Crashes often happen when you least expect them. That means you may be awarded a smaller settlement or verdict for your injuries, even if you were not otherwise at fault for the crash. Because there is a general expectation in our society that cyclists wear a helmet, if you are ever in a crash in which you are not wearing a helmet, the insurance company (or judge or jury, if you were to take it to court) may put blame on you for not wearing a helmet, even if you did nothing to contribute to the initial collision. Although bicycle helmets provide effective protection against bicycle-related head injury, only approximately 18% of bicyclists wear helmets all or most of the time (7). But no one wears a helmet in the car, or on a walk. You may still be able to make an injury claim, and it wouldn’t affect other bodily injuries. Why do most cyclists still make this choice, if bike accidents without helmets are proven to be so much more dangerous? In 2014, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over 60% of deaths in bicycle crashes were people who were NOT wearing a helmet. Some (especially children and teens) say that wearing a helmet makes them look uncool. But when taking chances, it is important to know the risks. I guarantee these cyclists would like to reverse time and wear that helmet if they could. Mild cases of TBI present with a brief loss of consciousness, a headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, and problems with memory. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also reports that, “helmet use has been estimated to reduce the odds of head injury by 50 percent, and the odds of head, face, or neck injury by 33 percent.”. In the ‘80s, it was quite unusual to see a cyclist wearing a helmet. In the guide below, we look at how a personal injury solicitor can help you to claim compensation for cycling without a bike helmet if you are injured. Reality can be much trickier, though. As a legal matter, it is a good idea to wear a helmet. Getting in a bicycle accident without a helmet nearly doubles your chance of brain damage or death.¹ Unlike rules requiring helmet use with motorcycles, many states don’t have bicycle helmet laws, or only require children to wear bicycle helmets. As you can see, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and even people in cars are more likely to suffer head injury when travelling. Educate your children on safe bicycling and have them do it in safe areas. Although no one wants to pay a fine, the real reason to wear a bike helmet is to protect your head. Although head injuries from biking accidents can be severe, most adults don’t wear helmets. In 2014, according to the. Because there is a general expectation in our society that cyclists wear a helmet, if you are ever in a crash in which you are not wearing a helmet, the insurance company (or judge or jury, if you were to take it to court) may put blame on you for not wearing a helmet, even if you did nothing to contribute to the initial collision. Your brain is precious cargo. For severe head injuries, the protective benefit is even higher. Inj Prev 2015;21:47–51. At Kass & Moses, we represent cyclists who are injured in bicycle crashes. Make sure the helmet is certified - The safest bike helmets are certified for cycling. That means you may be awarded a smaller settlement or verdict for your injuries, even if you were not otherwise at fault for the crash. Bike Safety for Kids: What Parents Must Know, The Best Ways to Avoid Common Cycling Injuries. The total number of injuries sustained by younger children/young adults on bicycles is more than in any other sport, combined. Not to mention the fact that surviving a crash without serious brain trauma is far, far preferable than surviving with serious brain trauma. Bike helmets are important for cyclist safety. Here are some facts that help illustrate why no one should ride a bicycle without a helmet. Most people riding bikes today have heard it again and again: riding your bike without a helmet is ridiculously dangerous. Many cyclists have also doubted the bicycle helmet's effectiveness in preventing injuries and death. The problem is you would get a fine every time you were caught without a helmet if you have legislation. Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can be a life-altering injury. As a legal matter, it is a good idea to wear a helmet. There are even studies that show that drivers behave more recklessly when passing a cyclist who is wearing a helmet versus when they are passing one without a helmet. These symptoms are more severe and include loss of consciousness and coma, slurred speech or difficulty speaking, loss of coordination, agitation, and seizures. TBI is nothing to take lightly: the effects are devastating and can permanently alter your life. Copyright © 2021 Bay Area Bicycle Law, P.C. If you see a cyclist riding without a helmet, you probably think they’re crazy or reckless. Some don’t like having their hair squished down on their way to their destination. And, hoping that a driver will be more careful when passing you just because you’re not going to wear a helmet while biking is not a very effective insurance policy. Wearing a bicycle helmet can protect you from traumatic brain injury, facial fractures, and even save your life. The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) has the data that prove it. According to a 1996 study, this is how head injury risk breaks down based on type of transportation: Risk of head injury per million hours travelled. Wearing a helmet may decrease the severity of a head injury by as much as 88 percent. Bicycling head injuries can be avoided by wearing a helmet. A serious head injury means one thing: traumatic brain injury. And though you can’t safeguard against all injuries in a bike crash, wearing a helmet is your best line … Fortunately, there are a number of great helmets on the market that are lightweight, stylish, and comfortable. Both scientific and unscientific research mostly aims to show that biking with a helmet on is much safer. You need it. Being hit by a car is far from the only way to be seriously injured on your bike — plus there is no guarantee that a driver will be cautious with you.. Rates of bicycle helmet use are lowest among those groups for whom rates for bicycle-related head injury are … When cyclists sustain head injuries, those who wear helmets are less likely to die from their injuries than they would be if they had not been wearing a helmet. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Helmets prevent brain injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, don’t wait to speak to one of our attorneys today! , this is how head injury risk breaks down based on type of transportation: Maybe pedestrians and car drivers should be wearing helmets too, but just because they don’t doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t either. As of January 2020, 22 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 201 localities had bicycle helmet-use laws, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. Plus, if you are in a crash and decide to pursue a case against a driver who hit you, a judge or jury may take into account the fact that you were not wearing a helmet as a deciding factor in your negligence that contributed to the crash occurring (even if it’s not against the law to ride without a helmet in your state). Sound crazy? Just because there is a bit of cognitive dissonance with the statistics regarding head trauma in pedestrians, cyclists, and cars that we mentioned above, does not mean it is worth it to risk bike accidents without helmets. Promoting bicycle helmets without teaching riders about traffic laws or safe riding practices can encourage a false sense of security, according to several risk experts. The demographic that is most at risk for enduring life-threating head injuries from bicycle accidents are children. The first set presents national data on injury mortality for 1986 through 1992and will allow the user to assess short-term trends in numbers of deaths and mortality rates. Truly, the safest bike helmet is the one that you are going to wear. 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