If you enjoy cycling as a recreational activity with your family, or if your kids regularly ride their bikes in your neighborhood, it is extremely important to think about bicycle accident risks and injury prevention. While it might seem obvious to many Denver residents, a recent article in the Insurance Journal reported that wearing bicycle helmets goes a long way toward preventing traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in bicycle accidents, as well as other serious personal injuries. What else do you need to know about bicycle helmets and how they can limit the severity of personal injuries when bike crashes occur?
Colorado Law on Bicycle Helmets
When it comes to helmet laws, Colorado law is not particularly stringent about requiring cyclists to protect their heads. A fact sheet from the Governors Highway Safety Association explains that only 19 states currently have a universal helmet law, and Colorado is not one of them. Only 21 states currently have a bicycle helmet law, meaning that more than half the states in the country do not require cyclists to wear helmets when they ride their bikes. Colorado falls into the latter category, meaning that even younger cyclists are not required by law to wear a helmet.
A safety tip sheet from the City of Denver’s website emphasizes that wearing a helmet is “just good sense,” and riders are encouraged to protect their head whenever they ride a bicycle. But is it enough to simply recommend and encourage riders to wear helmets? Or do laws need to be in place in order to demonstrate the significant ability for a bike helmet to prevent a head or face injury when an accident happens? A fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights how, despite research into the efficacy of bicycle helmets, fewer than 50 percent of riders wear them. To make matters worse, only about 48 percent of kids between the ages of five and fourteen years old reportedly wear helmets when they ride.
Each year, the CDC reports that around 26,000 bicyclists suffer traumatic brain injuries and other head trauma because of bike accidents. If we look more closely at the results of the recent study discussed in the Insurance Journal, we can see that helmets not only prevent TBIs, but they can also help to prevent—or at least lessen the severity of—other disfiguring and life-threatening personal injuries.
Bike Helmets Really Do Work
Here is the key takeaway from the recent study on personal injury prevention and bicycle helmets: wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a severe brain injury by more than 50 percent. In addition, the study also determined that “riders with helmets were also less likely to die from their injuries, and less likely to break facial bones, than those not wearing a helmet.” The study was reported in the American Journal of Surgery.
Riders with helmets reduce the risk of a severe TBI by 52 percent. Bicyclists who wear a helmet reduce the risk of death by 44 percent. And when a cyclist wears a helmet, she also reduces her risk of facial fractures by 31 percent.
Contact an Experienced Denver Bicycle Accident Attorney
In short, while some critics have questioned the effectiveness of bike helmets, the recent study demonstrates that they are essential to reducing the risk of personal injury. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, one of the experienced Denver personal injury lawyers at Robinson & Henry, P.C. can help. Contact us today to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.