Anyone I have represented in a bicycle or motorcycle accident has significantly less injury if they were wearing a helmet. Most states require helmet use, however, some so not require it at all or only on certain age groups. See map regarding the current state of the law. In Missouri helmet use is mandatory; however, in two of its neighboring states, Iowa and Illinois, there is no helmet law in effect.
A recent study has found that education on the severity of brain injuries from post-concussion syndrome to "TBI" Traumatic Brain Injury increases bike helmet use. After many years as a bicycle accident lawyer I have seen first-hand the increased injury to a cyclists head and brain when helmet is not worn. Many people do not understand the severity and life altering effects of a brain injury; once they do, wearing a helmet is an obvious choice.
The study was conducted on children ages 5 to 18, the researchers provided bicycle helmet safety and brain injury prevention information to over 100 children patients; helmet usage went up 72.5% in the children. A local St Louis City Charity, Helmets First, advocates helmet use by children and education on the effects of head injuries. See Helmet Hustle - St Louis Bike Safety for Children All parents must provide some safety education to their children at a young age to instill helmet use. Our law firm supports the helmet hustle every year as the safety of our children is of the utmost importance. Many kids grow up in families that simply just do not understand the debilitating effects of head injuries, injuries that can occur even in low speed bike accidents and not involving a car.
Helmet education is so important as the "CDC" Centers for Disease Control, report that about 25% of children ages 5-15 wear a helmet when riding a bike, and the teenage helmet rate is near zero. As a result, about 153,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each year for head injuries suffered from bicycle accidents. If the increase in helmet use reported by the researchers is true, than the above number of children admitted to emergency rooms with significant brain injuries every year should be drastically reduced.
Experts say that helmet use reduces the risk of a brain injury by 88%. Part of the education to encourage helmet use is a great analogy of the brain and head to an egg, which is explained as follows:
The egg is the head;
The egg shell is the skull;
The egg white is the fluid surrounding your brain;
The egg yolk is your brain;
Drop and unprotected egg - that is what a brain injury is like.
Additionally, the researchers used a gelatin brain mold to show children just how soft and pliable the brain really is. Many people think the skull is thick and very protective of the brain underneath, however, brain injuries can occur in low speed accidents. In fact, brain injuries are even known to occur through centrifugal force, such as in car accidents that create a whiplash motion and injury. The flying back and forth of the brain inside the skull not only causes impact with the inside of the skull, but can also cause neuronal shearing from the force of motion created. See Concussion Lawsuits Bring Head Injury Awareness Mainstream.
Ben Sansone is a Missouri bike accident attorney that has specialized knowledge about head and brain injuries and their effects on victims injured in various types of traffic accidents. Oftentimes, brain injuries last many years or become permanent, and those injuries are often subtle and go diagnosed because the symptoms of the head injury become the victim's "new normal" and they do not even realize that they suffer the symptoms of a head injury.
If you have suffered a brain injury or been hurt in a bike accident, contact us for a free consultation. In addition to discussing your legal options, we have detailed questionnaires and informational packets to explore the possibility of a latent head injury and the often difficult to diagnose symptoms of the injury.
All consultations are 100% FREE of CHARGE. Call today (314) 863-0500 or contact us online to set up an appointment