Use of Helmets as a Strategy for Preventing Head Injuries Caused by Bicycle or Motorcycle Crash or Fall
Anyone who decides to ride a bicycle or motorcycle must consider that wearing of helmets is the most effective strategy for preventing injuries from a crash or fall. It is very evident that riders is very vulnerable in crashing or falling even how knowledgeable and alert a rider he is. However, statistics will show that, despite repeated warnings and terrible stories about motorcycle and bicycle accidents; most people still do not see the necessity and safety of wearing helmets.
It is common to hear stories of people who are very much physically fit dying from motorcycle accidents just because they failed to wear their helmets. They might be able to endure the bodily injuries, but the head trauma is usually the worst that any rider could recover from. The reason for having their head hit badly is that they were not wearing helmets when they had the accident. These are the people who missed the best strategy for preventing head injuries; the wearing of helmets.
Yearly, hundreds of people in the United States and Canada suffer head injuries and die from falling off their bikes. There are thousands more who are permanently injured. With the emergence of all terrain vehicles that can be driven at higher speeds, it is expected that statistics for deaths caused by motorcycle accidents will increase further. On the other hand, according to statistical calculations, if all cyclists wore the prescribed helmets, probably half of deaths and numerous head injuries could have been prevented yearly. Wearing of helmets is the responsibility of the person subjected to risk. To be aware of the risk is oftentimes a retraining experience, but it is the best routine to observe whether you are taking a short ride or go for distance on your bike. Meaning, the prescribed helmet should be worn every time you ride on your bike.
A study on the importance of wearing helmet was done at John Hopkins Medical School, which was recently published in the Journals of the American College of Surgeons. The study gave emphasis on the necessity of wearing a helmet and other appropriate safety gear every time a person operates a motorcycle. According to the study, bike riders who are consistent in wearing their helmets are twenty-two percent lesser prone to be victimized with cervical spine injury and wearing a helmet will prevent them from experiencing more fatal injuries. Riders wearing helmets are thirty-seven percent less probable to be killed in a motorcycle accident and sixty-four percent lesser chances of suffering from traumatic brain injury. The state of Virginia is one of the 21 states that enforce the “universal helmet law” wherein all motorcycle riders are required not only to wear a helmet, but a face shield and safety glasses as well. But, in 2009, the reported total motorcycle crashes was 2,115 and sixty-nine of those were fatal. With the number of fatalities reported yearly in all states, it is evident that wearing of helmet is indeed one of the strategies to prevent head injuries that may eventually cause death during a motorcycle crash or fall.
Head injuries are the most widespread cause of death in motorcycle accidents. In most cases, the rider was without a motorcycle helmet. Death or serious injury could have been prevented with the use of motorcycle helmet that absorbs the great impact of a crash or fall.
With the growing popularity of motorcycles because of its ability to plot a route through traffic faster than other types of vehicles, also comes the increase in the numbers of motorcycle accidents. The size of the motorcycle makes it vulnerable for high-speed driving that often causes a crash. To protect the rider from fatal head injury, wearing of a reliable motorcycle helmet is crucial.
The initial benefit of wearing motorcycle helmets is the protection it provides as they absorb the impact of a crash or fall. Scratches on arms and knees are easier to treat than a serious damage to the head that may cause death. With the high-speed most motorcycle riders employ, it is most likely that when they crash, the impact is great and damaging. Wearing a motorcycle helmet will reduce such impact and may prevent the chances of getting a severe head injury.
Whether the price is expensive or cheap motorcycle helmets do not only protect the head from injury, but they provide protection against strong wind, dust, and smoke. Too much wind and dust may harm the eyes that will make it difficult for the rider to have a good vision of the road. Studies have shown that one cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of the riders not wearing motorcycle helmets to act accordingly because of vision obstructions caused by wind, dust, or dirt.
A study conducted by a leading U.S. test laboratory on cheap and expensive bicycle helmets showed that are no much difference between the two classifications of bicycle helmets. This is a testimony that as long as the bicycle helmets are duly approved and passed the standards set by the authorities, consumer can shop for a bicycle helmet in the US market without any concern on performance of the different models at whatever price range. What is important is that the bicycle helmet fits well in order to be properly protected when riding a bicycle.
One safety measure to ensure that your bicycle helmet will effectively protect you when you ride your bike is to occasionally check and inspect your helmet if it needs a repair or replacement. Check the exterior covering of your helmet it there are cracks or abrasion that reveals an impact. A small crack around the edges or any place on the shell of the helmet is a sign of aging and that your helmet needs a replacement. The liner should be firm and the thickness of the foam is uniform and is not compressed. Make sure the straps and buckle are not worn and the parts were complete.
Since many states in the United States are advocates of safety in wearing bicycle helmets, laws on wearing helmets are promulgated and strictly implemented. Besides proper education, these laws aim to support the move to lessen fatal injuries that result from accidents where riders are not wearing bicycle helmets. How a bicycle helmet work should be well understood by all riders in order for them to voluntarily adhere to wearing of bicycle helmet every time they ride their bicycles. In this day of age where technology has invaded people’s day-to-day lives, a lot of accidents can be linked to talking on cell phones, listening to iPods, and playing mobile games for casinos online.
A bicycle helmet reduces the highest effect of a strong impact. This is achieved by a layer of firm foam that will cushion the blow. The common types of foam used for bicycle helmets are expanded polystyrene (EPS), expanded polyurethane (EPU), and expanded polypropylene (EPP). Bicycle helmets have spongy foam pads inside to provide comfort and proper fit, but not for an impact protection.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people visit the emergency room of hospitals for injuries sustained from riding bicycles. Experts believe that the number of actual injuries could be more since not all are reported. Statistics show that majority of head injuries happened among children younger than fifteen years old and deaths caused by head injuries could have been avoided if kids helmets were worn.
Bicycle-related injuries are a primary cause of pediatric head injuries that require hospitalization. Despite the higher rate of head injury among children, only fifteen percent was reported to be wearing kids helmet when riding their bicycles. The use of helmet is reported to lessen the chance of head injury by more than eighty percent. Kids helmets have been found to be valuable in preventing head injury in all types of crashes. Most of those in the medical field highly recommend that children wear kids helmets to avoid head injury when riding their bicycles.
Many researchers have found that a major hindrance to the use of kids helmet among children is the lack of awareness by the parents. When the researchers asked the parents during a study why their children do not own a kids helmet, the most common replies were: they never thought of purchasing or never got around purchasing kids helmet, the child will not wear the helmet anyway and that the child does not ride enough or only rides in safe areas. These responses proved that the parents themselves do not value the importance of kids helmet for the protection and safety of their children. In other studies, when children were asked why they do not own kids helmet; most of the response showed that the children lacked awareness and understanding of the value of kids helmets. When children who own kids helmet were asked why they do not wear their helmet when riding their bikes, the common response was that they do not like the fit or they do not like the style. Comfort and style seems to be more important obstacles to children and adolescents to wear helmets. Research showed that more children wear helmet when their peers are also wearing helmets and when they see that their parents wear them. Single parents seem to be the best at advocating their children to wear helmets when riding their bicycles, as mentioned in this single parents guide.
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