Sunday, June 22, 2008

This is your brain!

President Bush and Barack Obama aren't fools.

I'm seeing an explosion of bicycle riders these days, so here is some info to ponder when you witness a non-helmeted rider.

Taken from Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

  • The "typical" bicyclist killed on our roads is a sober male over 16 not wearing a helmet riding on a major road between intersections in an urban area on a summer evening when hit by a car.

  • About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized.

  • Bicycle crashes and injuries are under-reported, since the majority are not serious enough for emergency room visits. 44,000 cyclists were reported injured in traffic crashes in 2006.

  • 1 in 8 of the cyclists with reported injuries has a brain injury.

  • Two-thirds of the deaths here are from traumatic brain injury.

  • A very high percentage of cyclists' brain injuries can be prevented by a helmet, estimated at anywhere from 45 to 88 per cent."

And a few words for those non-helmeted parents that I see riding with their helmeted children.
  • Great example to set for your child!
  • Brain injuries don't have age limitations.
And a few more words.
  • Helmets are required by law for anyone under the age of 18.
  • The current helmets are lighter and better ventilated than the "bone domes" of yesteryear.
Here's my bike after being struck by an SUV about a month ago. My helmet was broken it two places, but I walked away (driven in an ambulance would be more accurate). Accidents between motorized vehicles and bicycles will happen, so please take a few seconds to strap on a helmet. If your helmet is a few years old, consider stopping into Coates to grab one of the newer, lighter models.

That's the end (for now) of my rant on bicycles!


Anonymous said...

Except President Bush is a fool...

K said...

Yeah, I'll tell ya, there's nothin' like waking up in Intensive Care in your underwear, asking "Where am I and how did I get here?" The things we learn the hard way when we're 17! It ain't much fun, although the neurologists assure me that there was no permanent damage -- I was always like this. :-)

I'm fanatic about helmets now, whatever I'm doin', but I wonder if the issue is the cost of helmets (and bike lights), rather than just the stigma of messing up your hair or the pain of sweating on another 108-degree day? I haven't been watching the cyclists in Lincoln Park very closely, but I kind of presume that the folks riding junkers are the ones without helmets.

Ed said...

I thought I'd toss the President Bush thing out there for someone to smack home.

I'm surprised how prolific the non-helmet use is. Most kids aren't wearing them. Commuter cyclists have always been helmet users, but with the fervor over gas prices, the "Sunday" riders are pulling their bikes out of the garage and not wearing helmets.

I don't want to discourage bike riding among our youth, but if the police could spend just a minute explaining to kids that there is a helmet requirement, we might avoid a catastrophe. Even a subsidized youth helmet program with Coates could be beneficial.

Ms. Lois said...

Hi Pomona friends. Today is National Columnist Day. It's a day we are to send good wished to a favorite columnist. How about Pomona's friend David Allen? Spread the word!

Anonymous said...

Isn't National Columnist Day on April 18th?

Ms. Lois said...

According to Chase's Calendar of Events 2008, National Columnist's Day is June 24th. I looked through the April 18th entry and nothing about National Columnist's Day is there. It is however the anniversary of the ride of Paul Revere. :)