When you think of bicycling, you probably think of children wobbling from side-to-side or families riding through a neighborhood park. Unfortunately, what may not immediately come to mind is the vital importance of wearing a helmet when bike riding. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 48% of children between the ages of five and 14 wore adequate helmets when riding on their bicycles. Additionally, biking injuries resulted in more than half a million serious injuries and 800 deaths in 2010. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are among the common bike related injuries. From a fall on the street to a collision with a vehicle, the head should be protected when riding a bike.
A recent study published on Health.com researchers how well helmets protect cyclists from TBIs. The study involved 6,200 people who experienced a TBI after a biking accident, only 25% of which were wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. Researchers found that:
*Cyclists with a helmet were 58% less likely to experience a TBI
*Cyclists with a helmet were 61% less likely to need surgery that would expose the brain
*Cyclists with a helmet were 26% less likely to experience a fracture to the face
Researchers also found that helmet use was at its lowest among riders between the age of 10 years old and 20 years old. The rate of usage increased with each additional ten years in age, but the rate decreases again after the age of 70 years old.
What is a TBI?
A TBI is a serious injury that often goes inadequately diagnosed due to its wide range of possible symptoms. It is caused by some trauma to the brain, which may include a violent jolting of the head, penetration of an object through the skull or forceful impact between the head and an object. At the mild end of the TBI spectrum, an individual may experience the following:
*a severe headache
*loss of consciousness for less than 30 minutes
Individuals with a more severe TBI may experience:
*loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes
*memory loss lasting longer than 24 hours
*impaired cognitive functions
*limited function of extremities
*abnormal speech or language difficulty
*loss of normal thinking functions
*extreme emotional problems
The effects of a TBI can prove devastating to a victim’s personal, professional and social life. The injury may leave them without the ability to continue in their area of employment. It may also leave them unable to care for themselves, creating a need for family members to provide constant care or bear the financial burden of securing professional assistance.
While it is important to protect yourself and your family from the brain injury risks, there are times when even the greatest level of prevention can’t protect you from the negligent actions of another.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a TBI due to the actions of another individual, contact the experienced attorneys of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.