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Bike crashes, helmets and traumatic brain injuries

The harm that bike crashes can inflict on bicyclists is substantial. Among the catastrophic injuries that can come out of such accidents are severe traumatic brain injuries.

Given the massive toll a significant TBI can take on a person, among the things bicyclists may wonder is what they can do to reduce the chances of suffering a TBI if they end up being exposed to accidents through things like driver misconduct. A recent study points to one step in particular: wearing a helmet.

Now, there is a fair amount of debate around bicycle helmets, including debate over how much in the way of protection helmets that are currently out on the market really provide riders. The study suggests that, among other things, wearing a helmet can reduce severe TBI risk in bicycle crashes.

The study looked at over 6,000 bicycle accident sufferers who received treatment for head injuries after their crash. Around a fourth of these individuals wore helmets. The study compared the rates of having sustained a severe TBI between the individuals who wore helmets and those who did not. The study found that the likelihood of suffering such an injury was 52 percent lower among the bicyclists who wore helmets. The study further found that the helmeted individuals also had a lower likelihood for various other harmful results.

As this illustrates, there are steps bicyclists can take to protect their brain when out biking. Of course, helmets and other protective measures cannot keep bicyclists completely safe from having their brain significantly injured by drivers acting carelessly. So, regardless of whether bicyclists wear helmets or not, it is vital for drivers to act responsibly when bicyclists are present. When a bicyclist is subjected to a TBI or other catastrophic injury through unsafe driving by a motorist, skilled personal injury attorneys can provide them with guidance on what legal steps are available for them to take following the crash to pursue compensation and justice.

Source: Reuters, “Helmets prevent severe head injuries in bike accidents,” Linda Thrasybule, Aug. 19, 2016

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