Although cycling is a year round activity for some, every summer, many bicycles are dusted off and taken out of their winter hibernation to hit the open road. Cycling is a cost-efficient, environmentally sustainable, and physically challenging method of transportation.
However, biking does not come without its risks of injury. While a sprained wrist is one thing, bicycling-related brain injuries exist in an entirely different ballpark. In fact, up to 40 percent of all cycling injuries are brain injuries. Furthermore, this type of injury accounts for 45 to 100 percent of all youth related cycling deaths. Due to these startling statistics, it is vital that all cyclists take preventative measures to avoid suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
Despite being aware of the debilitating effects that brain injuries can have upon the lives of sufferers, many individuals still choose to forgo wearing a helmet. As personal injury lawyers, we at Dye and Russell have seen firsthand the aftermath of cycling related brain injuries. Here’s what you need to know if you’re committed to brain injury prevention:
A Concussion is a Brain Injury
The fact that a concussion is a brain injury is not widely understood. In fact, public knowledge surrounding the frequency and severity of concussive injuries is dramatically low.
When the brain experiences a concussive blow, its protective cerebral spinal fluid cannot absorb the shock. Thus, the gelatin-like brain moves around inside the skull, injuring the organ in the process. Additionally, repeat concussions can cause irreversible damage to an individuals’ cognitive function.
Since many concussions go undiagnosed, here are the symptoms that individuals often fail to recognize are due to a brain injury, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding the accident
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to questions
- Appearing dazed
Some symptoms however, can fail to show themselves for hours or days after the concussive blow, such as:
- Concentration and memory problems
- Irritability and other personality changes
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Sleep disturbances
- Psychological adjustment problems and depression
- Disorders of taste and smell
Wearing a Helmet is Non-Negotiable
It has been proven that in provinces that enforce legislation regarding helmet use for children, brain injury rates plummet.
So consider it logically: If your head hits the pavement unprotected, the severity of your concussion will be heightened due to the lack of shock absorption that a helmet would’ve provided.
How to pick out a Proper Helmet:
If you’re planning on simply biking recreationally, ask your local bike store staff to outfit you with a multi-use helmet. These lightweight helmets often come with a visor to protect your eyes from the sun, and are ideal for those who aren’t planning on taking their bicycle out into the mountains. Additionally, it’s imperative that you ensure your helmet is fitted to your head before you leave the store. Finally, if your helmet is dropped on the floor, or later becomes involved in a collision, it must be replaced immediately even if it appears to be totally intact.
Wearing a helmet is the number one thing anybody can do to take control of their personal health and safety.
If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.