Study Shows Effectiveness of Bicycle Helmets in Reducing Injuries

It is pretty much common knowledge that all bicyclists, no matter if you are cycling in urban or suburban areas, should wear a protective helmet to help reduce traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the event of an accident. There is no exception to this rule in Las Vegas, Nevada. That being said, it is not always clear just how effective a bicycle helmet can be for a cyclist involved in an accident. It can be argued that a bicyclist who is involved in an accident with a vehicle will end up with such severe injuries that a helmet would not prevent death. On the other hand, some bicyclists argue that the use of a helmet limits some of the freedom associated with riding a bicycle for pleasure. Parents know that their minor children must wear a helmet every time they get on a bicycle. The question is whether or not bicycle helmets are as effective as we have all been led to believe.

Helmet Study Results

A recent study on the effectiveness of bicycle helmets was published in the Accident Analysis & Prevention journal. The study revealed that the most commonly injured areas of the body when a bicycle accident occurs are, in descending order,

  • The upper extremities

  • The lower extremities

  • The face

  • The neck

  • The head

The study concluded that wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle is, indeed, the most effective way to decrease the risk of serious injuries to the cyclist.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) make up about 11% of all bicycle accident injuries, and the typical age of a bicycle accident-related TBI victim is between 10 and 14 years. While 11% may not seem high, it is important to understand that the effects of a TBI can be life-long.

Despite medical advances in early diagnosis and treatment of TBIs, this condition can be a serious one. There are three general types of TBIs - mild, moderate, and severe. Symptoms arising from a TBI can include confusion, difficulty concentrating, and blurry vision. TBIs can affect several aspects of a person’s life including cognitive function, behavioral issues, speech difficulty, and sensory issues, among others.

Tips for Bicycle Safety

While not all bicycle accidents and resulting injuries are avoidable, there are important bicycle safety tips suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), including:

  • Always riding on a bicycle that is properly sized because it is difficult to control a bike that is too large for one’s body;

  • Always ride with, and not against, traffic on the right side of the road as 25% of all bicycle accidents happen when cyclists are riding against traffic;

  • Use the bicycle hand signals during every single bike ride;

  • Try not to ride a bicycle at night, and if you do, make sure to wear safety clothing that is reflective and visible even in dark lighting;

  • Always wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted even if the distance traveled is short.

Personal Injury Help

If you or someone you know has been injured in a Nevada bicycle accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Parry & Pfau. With years of experience fighting for the injured across the state of Nevada, these skilled attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve.

(image courtesy of Aaron Torres)