But please, do so knowing the risks. 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. It’s like stirring up a hornet’s nest. Bike helmets are important for cyclist safety. 71% of fatalities occurred in urban areas and 58% were at intersections. Let’s just cut right to the chase: I haven’t worn a bike helmet in five months. 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. Call us now for your free consultation: (415) 466-3104. Decreases the severity of head injuries. Both scientific and unscientific research mostly aims to show that biking with a helmet on is much safer. The most obvious reason that it is unsafe to ride a bicycle without a helmet has to do with protecting the rider from head injuries. Although no one wants to pay a fine, the real reason to wear a bike helmet is to protect your head. Copyright © 2021 Bay Area Bicycle Law, P.C. The GHSA recommends a “Three E” approach – engineering, education and enforcement – for bicycle safety. 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.”. Due to the current state of COVID - 19: Most consultations can be performed electronically. 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.. For severe head injuries, the protective benefit is even higher. A meta-analysis of bicycle helmet efficacy by Attewell, Glase, and McFadden (2001) estimated that bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 60% and brain injury by 58%. You need it. Yes, you could still die even when wearing your helmet, but it is far, far less likely than if you weren’t. Although head injuries from biking accidents can be severe, most adults don’t wear helmets. 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. As you can see, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and even people in cars are more likely to suffer head injury when travelling. I’d say that in the 30 preceding years of cycling, I wore a helmet on more than 99 percent of my rides. And though you can’t safeguard against all injuries in a bike crash, wearing a helmet is your best line … Helmets don’t just protect your brain; they also protect your face. However, if … Moderate and severe TBI, however, often come with permanent, ongoing symptoms. 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. , over 60% of deaths in bicycle crashes were people who were NOT wearing a helmet. Nearly one-fourth of killed cyclists had been drinking. Inj Prev 2015;21:47–51. A serious head injury means one thing: traumatic brain injury. Not to mention the fact that surviving a crash without serious brain trauma is far, far preferable than surviving with serious brain trauma. 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. In 1989, Dian… the ONLY Northern California-based In 2014, according to the. 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. 22. Not to mention the fact that surviving a crash without serious brain trauma is far, far preferable than surviving with serious brain trauma. TBI is nothing to take lightly: the effects are devastating and can permanently alter your life. The upper part of the face, particularly around the eyes, was most protected. Most people riding bikes today have heard it again and again: the best way to protect your head is to wear a helmet while biking, and that riding your bike without a helmet is ridiculously dangerous. 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). If you have sustained injuries in a vehicle accident while not wearing a helmet, don’t make the mistake of assuming the other driver’s insurance won’t cover your injuries. Better to be protected than unprotected. In 2016 (the most recent data available). 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. Data has proven though that the number of head injuries was reduced with people who wore a helmet when riding a bike. Here are some facts that help illustrate why no one should ride a bicycle without a helmet. In addition, wearing a helmet is known to prevent fatalities in motorcycle accidents. “riders with helmets also had 31 percent lower odds of facial fractures. Isn’t your child’s life important enough to you that you insist that they wear a helmet every time they ride? As a legal matter, it is a good idea to wear a 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. 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. Sound crazy? But statistically, they may not be as crazy as you think, or at least, not more crazy than most other folks on the road not wearing a helmet. The demographic that is most at risk for enduring life-threating head injuries from bicycle accidents are children. Your brain is precious cargo. In several other regional studies, that percentage has been shown to be as high as 97%. 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. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, don’t wait to speak to one of our attorneys today! Your brain is precious cargo. As a legal matter, it is a good idea to wear a helmet. If you see a cyclist riding without a helmet, you probably think they’re crazy or reckless. Epidemiology of bicycle injuries and risk factors for serious injury. What does the law say about wearing a helmet on a bike? It is true. I am not trying to get preachy here, but as a bicycle accident attorney, I have seen firsthand the devastating injuries that can occur when cyclists are involved in a crash and are not wearing a helmet. firm to specialize in Bicycle injuries Encourage kids to get outside and play. Bicycling head injuries can be avoided by wearing a helmet. COVID-19 Update: Bay Area Bicycle Law, P.C. 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. As schemes such as London’s Santander sponsored bike hire scheme have meant that the number of people cycling without a bike helmet has increased. 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. Cycling injuries account for nearly double the amount of traumatic head injuries caused by football every year (85,000 vs 46,000). The total number of injuries sustained by younger children/young adults on bicycles is more than in any other sport, combined. But no one wears a helmet in the car, or on a walk. Not wearing a bike helmet is one of the biggest mistakes a cyclist can make. In fact, one startling statistic reported by New York City states that 97% of cycling deaths and 87% of serious injuries occurred to people who were not wearing helmets. Some research even suggests there is a risk of rotational brain injury and neck injuries through helmet air vents catching on the road surface. Although troubling, these symptoms usually go away on their own with rest. And we all know why. I guarantee these cyclists would like to reverse time and wear that helmet if they could. After all, people still die in bike crashes every year who were wearing helmets. 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. Despite the importance of wearing bicycle helmets, in many reported series, less than one-quarter of riders injured in bicycle crashes are reported to have worn helmets, as low as 14% of teenagers in one large study. Wearing a helmet may decrease the severity of a head injury by as much as 88 percent. And here at Bay Area Bicycle Law, we highly recommend that you wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. 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. Many times these cyclists have head injuries and, sometimes, these injuries occur in cyclists who were not wearing a helmet. 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. In California, suffering bicycle injuries without helmets does not mean cyclists have no legal recourse when seeking compensation.. Some (especially children and teens) say that wearing a helmet makes them look uncool. Only 22 percent of adults seriously injured while biking were using a helmet … The fact is that it is unsafe to engage in this sort of behavior. Helmets prevent brain injury. Wear helmets. These symptoms are more severe and include loss of consciousness and coma, slurred speech or difficulty speaking, loss of coordination, agitation, and seizures. 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. In the ‘80s, it was quite unusual to see a cyclist wearing a helmet. Just because your helmet isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it can’t do a pretty remarkable job protecting you from death and serious trauma. Motorcycle helmets save lives and prevent devastating and debilitating head injuries. Trust me when I say that no amount of financial recovery is worth facing a life of severe disabilities and ongoing medical problems. There is no need to feel like a helmet is uncool, hot, or unpleasant to wear. Some say it reduces their ability to see around them. There are two sets of tables. Some people also say that bike helmets aren’t safe enough. 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? The problem is you would get a fine every time you were caught without a helmet if you have legislation. Better to be protected than unprotected. According to the Bike Helmet Safety Institute, 57 percent of bicycle-related fatalities can be prevented by using a protective helmet. 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.”. For example, depending on the circumstances, the insurance company might unilaterally decide that you were 50% at fault in a crash in which you weren’t wearing a helmet, even if you were obeying all traffic laws and the driver was at fault for doing something such as running a red light, thus reducing your compensation by 50%. With more than 50% of cyclists not wearing helmets, this is not surprising! Yes, you could still die even when wearing your helmet, but it is far, far less likely than if you weren’t. Although not as likely to die, children and adolescents are the most likely to be injured while riding a bike without a helmet. Some don’t like having their hair squished down on their way to their destination. 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). Helmets.org points out that helmet use can lessen the odds of head injury by 50 percent, and the chance of head, neck or facial injury by 33 percent. Make sure your kids are wearing a properly fitted helmet—and, in the event of injury, make sure they are assessed.” Tips for buying the best bike for you July 29, 2015 04:28 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. But without a helmet, you’ll have to work hard to prove that your injury could have happened even with a helmet. Life is about calculated risk — nothing is 100 percent safe, and we all take chances each and every day. You will speak with an experienced attorney; just call 415-466-8717 for a free, no obligation consultation. Closely observe your surroundings. Sure, that statistic is impressive, but here’s why preventing a head injury is essential. The study also found neck injuries are not associated with helmet use and cyclists who wear helmets reduce their chance of a fatal head injury by … Bike Safety for Kids: What Parents Must Know, The Best Ways to Avoid Common Cycling Injuries. Reality can be much trickier, though. 26,000 children and adolescents are treated in emergency rooms for traumatic brain injuries due to bicycle-related accidents every year. 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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using a helmet can reduce the risk of suffering a head injury by 67%. Defined, traumatic brain injury refers to a blow or injury to the head that causes brain dysfunction. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Fortunately, there are a number of great helmets on the market that are lightweight, stylish, and comfortable. 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. The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Snell Memorial Foundation publish standards by which bicycle helmets can be certified. It is not a foolproof safeguard against death or serious injury. Mild cases of TBI present with a brief loss of consciousness, a headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, and problems with memory. Wearing a bike helmet also reduces the chances of a head injury by 50%, serious head injury … A bicycle crash can occur anywhere, and a helmet is a protection you cannot afford to be without. Make sure the helmet is certified - The safest bike helmets are certified for cycling. 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. Truly, the safest bike helmet is the one that you are going to wear. These groups account for 6 of 10 injuries seen in emergency rooms in the US. 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. Statistics and personal preferences aside, your brain is your brain. , 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. Because motorcycles are unenclosed vehicles, riders are vulnerable to being thrown from the bike and suffering head injuries. Reference: Rivara FP, Thompson DC, Thompson RS. You may still be able to make an injury claim, and it wouldn’t affect other bodily injuries. 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. In Denmark, the bike is used as daily transportation and sometimes it is not convenient to bring a helmet, because there is nowhere you can put it if you take your bike to the city. An essential component of education is wearing a properly fitted helmet. Seventy-eight percent of adult cyclists and 88 percent of young riders who suffered head and neck If you fail to wear a bike helmet, you can be issued a citation and fined. Helmets are known to reduce brain injuries, and failing to wear a helmet could significantly impact your claim, thus reducing a settlement. 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. Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can be a life-altering injury. Maybe pedestrians and car drivers should be wearing helmets too, but just because they don’t doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t either. representing cyclists. But when taking chances, it is important to know the risks. Some say they are uncomfortable. 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. And we all know why. 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. Still more people who don’t wear a helmet while biking do so simply because they think they don’t need to, or they don’t know how serious the ramifications of not wearing a helmet can be. Motorcyclists who ride without helmets run a significantly greater risk of death or permanent injury. Rates of bicycle helmet use are lowest among those groups for whom rates for bicycle-related head injury are … Isn’t your life and wellbeing worth wearing a helmet? Fatalities and severe injuries are far greater for cyclists who do not wear a helmet. At Kass & Moses, we represent cyclists who are injured in bicycle crashes. In several other regional studies, that percentage has been shown to be as high as 97%. And yet, millions of people (more than half of all cyclists) choose not to wear a helmet when they head out on the road. If you have been involved in a bicycle crash and want support and guidance as you move through the process of recovery, contact us at Kass & Moses for more assistance. Wearing a bicycle helmet can protect you from traumatic brain injury, facial fractures, and even save your life. “. And if you’ve been injured in a bike crash — with or without a helmet —. Bicycle helmets are made from polystyrene and are designed to protect wearers from falls to the ground at under 12mph. If you choose to bike without a helmet, I believe that is your right. Most people riding bikes today have heard it again and again: riding your bike without a helmet is ridiculously dangerous. If you need more convincing, just look at a few more statistics about bike accidents without helmets: And if you’ve been injured in a bike crash — with or without a helmet — call Bay Area Bicycle Law for a free consultation to see if you’ve got a case. 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.. Educate your children on safe bicycling and have them do it in safe areas. 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. Crashes often happen when you least expect them. Why do most cyclists still make this choice, if bike accidents without helmets are proven to be so much more dangerous? Many states and localities have laws in place to force you to wear a bike helmet. A bike helmet is a cyclist’s best line of defense, reducing risk of head injury by more than 50%. Studies have shown that wearing a bike helmet reduces your risk of serious head injury by about 70 percent. The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) has the data that prove it. Many people who don’t wear a helmet while biking have what they consider to be a good reason not to. 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. 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