There are lots of good reasons to wear a bike helmet whenever you are on the road or trail. But is your helmet effective enough to prevent injury if you are in a crash?
One brain surgeon has bucked the trend by saying no. Dr. Henry Marsh, a neurosurgeon at St. George’s Hospital in London, claims that in countries where bike helmets are mandatory there hasn’t been any reduction in bike-related injuries. He says the helmets are just “too flimsy.”
He also claims that seeing helmets cause drivers near bicycles to feel safer, and drive closer to their handlebars. They can get careless and may actually cause more accidents around helmeted cyclists.
Most scientists agree that helmets are useful in reducing bike injuries. In 2010, 70 percent of bicyclists killed were not wearing helmets. TBI specialists and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) support the use of helmets. They can reduce the risk of skull fractures by disbursing the force of impact, and can prevent injury in low-speed impacts.
But brain injury can happen even while wearing a bike helmet. When there is an impact to the head, or it is whipped back and forth, the brain can slosh against the inside of the skull. This sloshing can cause tearing, bruising and swelling. Even microscopic tearing and shearing can cause long-term problems. This kind of closed head injury can affect memory, coordination, and much more. Still, the chances of more severe injury are higher without a helmet.
What everyday bikers can learn from this debate is to make sure you wear a high quality, protective helmet. The best helmets are made of high-strength plastics and are adjustable to your head. You also need to be cautious when riding on the road and near traffic.
If you or someone you love has been in a bike accident with a car, contact the experts at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. David Christensen and his team have years of experience getting bicyclists the money they need to recover from their injuries. Contact Christensen Law today for your free consultation.