When you are about to get onto your bicycle, the first thing you should make sure to have once you have taken off, is a helmet on. Ever since I was a small child I was always made to wear a helmet, whether I was bicycling, on a scooter, or on a skateboard. And if I didn’t wear a helmet all those times, I could of really hurt myself. I took many spills on my toys that required helmets, always getting scrapes on my elbows and knees, but never injuries on my head.
Many parents now a days let there kids ride around with out helmets, and when they fall, they are sometimes seriously injured. Even if you are over 18 years old and legally not wearing a helmet it is still very unsafe. Just because your older doesn’t make you an experienced bicyclist, or skateboarder for that matter.
I decided to get some facts and statistics on helmet use at www.helmets.org:
# There are 85 million bicycle riders in the US.
# 770 bicyclists died on US roads in 2006, down just 14 from the year before. Over 90 percent died in crashes with motor vehicles.
# The “typical” bicyclist killed on our roads is a sober male over 16 not wearing a helmet riding on a major road between intersections in an urban area on a summer evening when hit by a car.
# About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized.
# Bicycle crashes and injuries are under-reported, since the majority are not serious enough for emergency room visits. 44,000 cyclists were reported injured in traffic crashes in 2006.
# 1 in 8 of the cyclists with reported injuries has a brain injury.
# Two-thirds of the deaths here are from traumatic brain injury.
# A very high percentage of cyclists’ brain injuries can be prevented by a helmet, estimated at anywhere from 45 to 88 per cent.
# Direct costs of cyclists’ injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $81 million each year.
# Indirect costs of cyclists’ injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $2.3 billion each year.
# Helmet use in the US varies by orders of magnitude in different areas and different sectors of our society. White collar commuters probably reach 80 per cent, while inner city kids and rural kids would be 10 per cent or less. Overall, our best wild guess is probably no more than 25 per cent. Sommers Point, NJ, where a state helmet law is in effect, found that only 24 of the 359 students who rode to school in one week of the Winter of 2002 wore helmets (6 per cent) until the School District adopted a helmet rule. North Carolina observed 17 per cent statewide before their law went into effect in 2001.
# Helmets are cheap. The typical discount store price has risen from under $10 to about $20, but there are still models available for under $10 at major national retailers including Target and Wal-Mart.
# Only 41 per cent of the kids 5 to 14 at surveyed sites were wearing helmets, although the sites chosen had a bias for higher rates.
# Even at sites where helmets were required, only 52 per cent wore them.
# At sites where wheels are used for transportation, only 38 per cent wore helmets.
# More than a third of the kids wearing helmets did not have them fitted correctly. Conversely, two-thirds did!
# The effect of laws was not well evaluated. Although sites with state-level helmet laws had only 45 per cent wearing helmets and sites without state level laws had 39 per cent, the study did not take into account whether or not there was a local ordinance.
So please, make your children wear helmets, and wear one yourself. It could save your life, and it can send a positive message to your children and the other families on the bike paths.
Moseley Collins is a Sacramento Personal Injury lawyer, who has worked in California for 28 years, and has specialized in severe brain injury cases involving bicycle accidents. If you or a loved one have been badly injured please visit our website at https://www.moseleycollins.com
Or call us at (916) 444-4444.