Bicycle use across the nation continues to increase each year, but despite this increase in ridership, the use of bicycle helmets remains low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than half of all cyclists wear helmets when they ride, a statistic that holds true among both adults and children.
Bicycle accidents take place every day in this nation and leave hundreds injured as a result. In fact, in 2010, approximately 800 cyclists lost their lives in accidents and another 515,000 people were injured so significantly that they required treatment in a hospital or other emergency setting. Of those who were hurt, approximately half were under the age of 20 and the other half were ages 21 and over, reflecting the fact that people of all ages ride bicycles and can be injured in bicycle collisions.
The nature of injuries can vary among those cyclists who are hurt but often may include a traumatic brain injury, a type of harm that results when force is placed on the brain. In the case of a bicycle crash, this may result if a cyclists hits his or her head on a car or on pavement, causing the brain to collide with the inside of the skull.
Experts state that the use of bicycle helmets cannot eliminate all traumatic brain injuries nor prevent every cyclist-related death but that use can make a drastic difference, eliminating many head injuries that otherwise would have occurred, lessening the extent of injuries, and ultimately saving lives. Some studies indicate that helmet use reduces the risk of a brain injury by nearly 80 percent, regardless of the age of the rider involved, yet the majority of riders still choose to forego a helmet.
Some riders express concern over the effectiveness of helmets and use a belief based on a lack of increased safety as their basis for avoiding a helmet. Others feel helmets should only be used by inexperienced riders or those who are prone to falls. And yet others say that kids are the only ones who should be using helmets since adults are free to make their own choices.
If you want to ride a bicycle safely in Phoenix, you should always use a helmet as none of the foregoing excuses are valid reasons to avoid one. A rider of any age and any skill level can be involved in a collision with a car and that rider may be hurt as a result, but wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head and brain injuries. If you have difficulty remembering to grab your helmet before you ride, consider leaving it on your handle bars or near your bicycle so that the visual reminder of the helmet triggers you to grab it.
And if the unfortunate occurs and you are involved in a bicycle accident in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, or Tempe, know that you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for your damages, including any medical bills you incur. The personal injury legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. will be standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to help you sort through your legal options.
We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to victims who call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and if we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf. If you have been hurt or if someone you love was killed, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us fight for your right to relief.
Prior Blog Entry:
Closed Head Injuries after a Phoenix Car Accident, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 5, 2015.