If you are a cyclist, you know how dangerous it can be on the roads. Nearly every one of us has had a close encounter with serious injury from a motorist. Sadly, far too many cars don’t pay enough attention to cyclists and give us enough room to ride safely. This is especially critical for children, whom often rely on their bikes as the primary way to get around in the summer.
That’s why a helmet is so critical for all cyclists. But which ones really protect? Which do the job? A new study can answer some of these questions with real-life tests done by and for cyclists. The results can help you and your family to stay safe this summer and enjoy your ride with confidence.
The sad statistics
All cyclists know how dangerous the roads can be. For kids, it’s even more dangerous since they often depend on their bike as their primary way to get around. In the summer, any independent minded child here in Pittsburgh uses their bike heavily – and in the process expose themselves to risk.
That’s why child bike injuries go up in the summer so dramatically. Since 2006, about 600 emergency room visits were made every single day by kids under 17 for bicycle related injuries. The rate is much higher in the summer, when about half of the visits are reported in the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The primary way to keep kids safe? Have the right helmet. Not wearing one, or not having an adequate one, is the main reason for so many emergency room visits.
What helmets work?
According to a new study by the Virginia Tech Bicycle Lab, the most stylish “urban style” helmets that look like skateboard headgear are not very effective. Helmets equipped with the new Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) were found to reduce the risk of concussion.
That held true even in simulated hard throws to the pavement. These helmets, while bulky, offer significantly more protection. They are much more likely to protect in the case of a serious spill.
All cyclists need to have these, especially children who rely on their bikes to get around.
Injuries are serious
It is definitely best to prevent injuries whenever possible, which is why these helmets are so important. But if you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, especially one with a car, it’s important to have an attorney with experience in bicycle injury cases to help you through the complex insurance process.
We know that you are careful, as all cyclists are, but far too many drivers are not. That’s a situation which has to change. In the meantime, having the right helmet can make a big difference on the roads. Stay safe this summer with the right headgear to protect you.