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Studies show bike helmets significantly reduce injuries and death

A recent study, published in the American Journal of Surgery, suggests that bike helmets can prevent the most profound type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) by at least one half. Helmet-wearing bicyclists experience significantly fewer broken bones to their faces and fewer fatal injuries than their non-helmet-wearing counterparts as well.

While researchers point out that wearing a helmet won't prevent a bicyclist from getting involved in an accident, it may result in he or she suffering only minor injuries. They note that is the same logic that applies to motorists who use seat belts versus those who don't.

If more bicyclists were to wear helmets, it would significantly reduce the incidence rate of TBIs and injuries in general. One reason this is believed to be the case is because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that less than 50 percent of all bicyclists don't wear helmets.

Considering that nearly 900 bicyclists were killed and just less than 500,000 were injured in 2013 in the United States, you can easily see the impact that the wearing of helmets could have had.

Another study, commissioned by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), compared the rate of TBIs and deaths among helmeted versus nonhelmeted riders. Researchers found that nonhelmeted bikers were 52 percent more likely to suffer the most severe type of TBI than their helmeted counterparts. They were at least 44 percent more likely to die in a bike accidents than them as well.

Nonhelmet-wearing bikers were also at least 31 percent more likely to suffer facial fractures than those who wore helmets. The more common types of fractures that bicyclists suffer from include ones to their jaw, eye sockets and noses.

Researchers working on the ACS study also determined that at least 75 percent of bikers don't wear helmets, at least 25 percent more than what the CDC claimed was the case. Among the bikers most likely to wear helmets, the ACS determined that they are white, insured female bikers or those ages 60 to 70. Kids ages 10 to 20 were the least likely to wear a helmet while riding their bike.

If you were seriously injured or have lost a loved one while out riding a bike, then a Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit in your respective case.

Source: Reuters, "Helmets prevent severe head injuries in bike accidents," Linda Thrasybule, Oct. 19, 2017

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