How Helmets Save the Lives of Bicyclists
Helmets are highly effective at protecting the health of cyclists along the Front Range. With more than 300 miles of dedicated bike paths in Boulder, cycling is one of the most popular summer activities. It is also one of the most dangerous. From 2010-2012, 29 cyclists died in Colorado. On average, there are 10 cyclist fatalities each year in the state and thousands more riders suffer serious personal injuries. Many of these could be prevented by the simple act of putting on a helmet before heading out for a ride.
Designed to Make a Difference
Bicycle helmets are comprised of a liner and shell. The liner is typically made of expanded polystyrene foam and is designed to absorb and disperse the energy of an impact. Similarly, the shell which is often made of PET or polycarbonate plastics, polymers, or even Kevlar fibers is designed to distribute the force of the impact and prevent penetrating brain injuries.
While it may be tempting to think that "more expensive = safer," the reality is that price isn't a guarantee of protection. As with all consumer products, it is crucial to verify the safety rating of a helmet before deciding on a helmet to protect yourself or your children.
Data on Helmet Effectiveness
In 2017, researchers examined data collected in 43 different studies that examined the effectiveness of bicycle helmets in more than 64,000 crashes. The data showed that helmets reduced the risk of serious brain trauma by more than 70%. In particular, the data showed that wearing a helmet dramatically reduced the risk of serious traumatic brain injuries or other fatal head injuries.
Teaching Teens and Children Helmet Habits
Children and teenagers are at elevated risk of serious brain injuries from a bicycle accident. Parents can help protect their children this summer by modeling good helmet habits that include wearing a helmet for every ride. Similarly, parents should select a helmet that properly fits their child. This helps ensure the helmet is comfortable and reduces the risk they won't wear the helmet. If the child does tumble and fall and suffers a bump to the head, the helmet should be replaced as repeated knocks to the shell and foam liner can reduce its ability to protect the head from brain trauma.
For more information about the effectiveness of bicycle helmets, contact the brain injury law firm of Sloat & Nicholson at (800) 447-1144.