Skateboarding is popular among children and teens. But the tricks and unpredictable movements that make the sport so much fun can also make skateboarders vulnerable to injuries and accidents. That’s why safety is so important when riding.
Every year, over 18,000 children and adolescents go to the emergency room for head injuries related to skateboarding and scooters. Falls can cause everything from scrapes and bruises to traumatic head injury. Longboarders are particularly susceptible to brain injury. When skateboarders get too close to cars, the accidents can get even more gruesome.
Skateboarding Helmets Are Unpopular, but Necessary
That’s why advocates across the country are asking skateboard riders to put on helmets and safety equipment. Even so, most kids refuse to wear them.
“If I’m going to do something really stupid and I know I’m going to fall, I’ll wear a helmet,” 15-year-old Chris Deickman of Aurora, Colorado said. “But if there are no bowls, it’s mostly flatland, I don’t need one.”
But one former skater is pushing to change that. Gorgie Tsushima suffered a serious injury last year after his skateboard slid under his foot while he was walking away from a trick. “My brain bounced off the back of my head and then was damaged in the front left corner,” Tsushima said.
Tsushima never wore a helmet before, but after three months in the hospital and relearning how to speak, he has become an advocate for safe skateboarding going forward. He says:
“You can trust a helmet. It’s not going to hurt you. It’s going to save your life.”
The Dangers of Skateboarding on Streets
Even while wearing a helmet, skateboarders are at risk of injury if they are not riding where it is safe. Riding on irregular surfaces, like pothole-covered streets, can cause a wipe out. Skateboarding movements are also far less predictable for drivers than pedestrians or bicyclists because of the push-and-glide nature of the vehicle. This can make it hard for motorists to avoid skateboarders in the streets. To be safe, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends:
- Never Ride In The Street;
- Never Hitch A Ride From A Car, Bus, Truck, Or Bicycle; And
- Always Wear Protective Safety Gear, Including Helmets, Knee And Elbow Pads That Meet Current U.S. Safety Standards.
When doing tricks or grinding, stick to skate parks which maintain their surfaces and isolate skaters from passing traffic.
Skateboarding is a fun way to get exercise. But you need to keep safety in mind by wearing helmets and protective gear, and by sticking to skate parks and away from roads and vehicles.
David Christensen is an auto accident attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He helps children struck by cars to recover insurance benefits to cover the costs of medical repairs, and in some cases, pain and suffering. If you know someone who has suffered a serious skateboarding accident involving a car, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.