New Yorkers rely on bicycles as a valued means of transportation whether for themselves, messengers or delivery personnel. Staying safe while on a bicycle can be a challenge, especially when navigating busy city streets. Often, motorists fail to see them, and this can lead to collisions that seriously injure or even kill cyclists. One of these injuries is traumatic brain injury which can lead to problems with memory, emotion, behavior, and concentration.
Sadly, 75 percent of bicycle fatalities are connected to a head injury here in New York City and in a likely effort to lower this number the city is encouraging their riders to voluntarily wear helmets. The lack of having a helmet has been noted as a factor in the majority of deaths related to bicycles. In 2009, statistics show that in 90 percent of fatal crashes, bicycle helmets were absent. It is unknown how what percentage of that number died from a head injury.
While the connection of helmets to preventing head injuries is unclear, there is evidence that the numbers of cyclists suffering head injury in an accident is increasing and children, especially are becoming more at risk. When it comes to bike accidents involving children under the age of 14, the most common injury sustained is a head injury.
Riding in a designated bike lane and wearing a helmet are two ways cyclists can help reduce their risk for severe brain and head injury in an accident with a car. It is also important for anyone riding a bicycle through the streets of New York to know their rights and ensure that they will be protected in the event of an accident. Talking to an experienced attorney can be a good way to understand this if an accident occurs.
Source: Source: KHOU Houston, “Cycling and head injuries,” Associated Press, June 3, 2013