Bicycle helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of dying from brain injuries in a bicycle crash and reduce the risk of serious brain and facial injuries. Bicyclists should wear helmets for safety, but they should also understand the limitations of the protection that helmets provide and observe the same safety precautions they would observe if not wearing a helmet. You should also be aware that some studies have found that drivers are less careful around bicyclists who are wearing helmets and remain vigilant about your surroundings and the vehicles in your vicinity. Helmets should be worn as an added layer of safety, not in place of safe practices. If you have been injured in an Oregon bicycle crash, talk to an experienced bicycle accident attorney right away.
Protecting Your Brain and Face
A study published in the American Journal of Surgery, in 2016, which looked at patients who had suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) in bicycle crashes, found that helmet use reduced the likelihood of dying from TBI by 44%. It also found that the likelihood of suffering severe TBI was reduced by 51% and the likelihood of suffering facial fractures was reduced by 31%, when wearing a helmet.
Staying Safe, No Matter What
The downside to helmet use is in how it may influence behavior. Some studies have found that helmet use encourages risky behavior while others say that bicyclists who wear helmets tend to exhibit safer behaviors. You are in control of your own behavior, so keep in mind that helmets do not eliminate the risk of TBI and certainly don’t protect you from serious injuries such as spinal cord in juries and broken bones throughout the body.
There is also disagreement on whether driver behavior around bicyclists is affected by helmet use. But you always have to be on the lookout for drivers who are negligent, distracted, or simply don’t understand the rules of the road.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, with or without a helmet, call the Law Office of J. Clay McCaslin at 503-239-1910 or contact us online right away.