Georgia residents might need to know that researchers at the University of Arizona report that bicyclists who wear helmets are 58 percent less likely than cyclists who do not wear helmets to suffer severe traumatic brain injuries if they are involved in a collision. The researchers analyzed data from the 2012 National Trauma Data Bank of the American College of Surgeons. A co-author of the study says that they wanted to find out if wearing a helmet protects bicyclists from more than just a head bleed if an accident occurs.
They specifically looked at the 6,627 patient records of TBI after bicycle-related accidents and found that slightly more than 25 percent of those patients wore helmets. Of the patients who suffered TBI, those who were wearing helmets were 58 percent less likely to have severe TBI and 59 percent less likely to die. Additionally, they were 26 percent less likely to suffer facial fractures and 61 percent less likely to require a craniotomy, which is an operation that removes part of the skull, exposing the brain.
The researchers reviewed the impact of gender and age on the occurrence of bicycle accidents that resulted in a TBI to determine a pattern with helmet use. Bicyclists between the ages of 10 and 20 were the least likely to wear a helmet, and helmet use increased every 10 years. However, the rate started to decline with cyclists aged 70 and older. Furthermore, male riders are less likely than female riders to wear a helmet.
A TBI is relatively common following bicycle accidents, especially if the accidents involve other vehicles as well. This type of injury could have life-altering consequences for some patients. If someone else’s negligence was the ultimate cause of the brain injury, an attorney for an injured victim might find it advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for the damages that have been sustained.