When a car and bicycle collide, the injuries to the bike rider can be catastrophic. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in a majority of bicyclist deaths the most serious injuries are to the head. Recent studies show that wearing a bike helmet can significantly reduce your risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury in a bike accident.
2014 Bicycle Accident Statistics
- Kansas Department of Transportation reports 299 bike accidents resulted in injury including 7 fatalities.
- Missouri Department of Transportation reports 495 bike accidents resulted in injury including 4 fatalities.
- Nationally, 720 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. Of those, 429 riders were not wearing a helmet compared to only 118 deaths when a bike helmet was worn.
A study reported in the American Journal of Surgery reviewed data on 6,267 individuals injured in bicycle accidents. Approximately 25% of the individuals studied were wearing a bike helmet at the time of their accident. 52% of all individuals studied suffered severe traumatic brain injury. The study concluded that wearing a bike helmet can reduce the risk of severe TBI by more than 50%, and reduce the risk of death from head injury by 44%. You can read all the findings of the study here.
It makes sense, doesn’t it, that any protection on your head is better than no protection? So why do so many riders choose not to wear a bike helmet? Sadly, an oft cited reason is because bike helmets aren’t cool. You know what else isn’t cool? Having to wear your sunglasses inside, or being unable to shop at grocery stores, because your traumatic brain injury causes a painful sensitivity to light. Is a bike helmet too uncomfortable? Do you know what else is uncomfortable? Chronic pain, memory loss, constant vertigo, or debilitating personality changes, all of which can result from even a minor traumatic brain injury. We encourage everyone to check out www.biausa.org/living-with-brain-injury.htm for a description of more symptoms and complications that people suffering from traumatic brain injury face every day. Then ask yourself whether riding your bike without a helmet is worth the risk.
If you need to speak to a lawyer because of injuries suffered in a bicycle collision with a car, truck, or motorcycle, contact one of the brain injury attorneys at Morefield Speicher Bachman, LC for a free one-hour consultation.