Bicyclists involved in crashes do not have the protective luxury of an enclosed, motorized vehicle with seatbelts and other safety amenities. In a split second, a collision can force a cyclist off the two-wheel transport, resulting in serious, if not life-altering, and fatal injuries.
Yet, these tragic collisions are not so much about how a cyclist operated a bike, but what they did before getting on their two-wheeled conveyance.
The refusal of bicyclists who forego headwear represents a tragic trend. Children who are 17 and younger are least likely to wear helmets. Adult women are more likely to wear helmets than their male counterparts.
Brain Injury Journal analyzed approximately 76,000 bicycle-related accidents occurring between 2002 and 2012. Shockingly, more than 75 percent of riders, from children to adults, do not have headwear that could provide the protection they need.
Findings from The National Trauma Data Bank came from tracking 900+ trauma centers and emergency rooms nationwide. Data reveals alarming yet less than shocking statistics. Foregoing protective headwear transcends both age and gender.
Specific statistics for non-helmet wearers suffering head and neck injuries in cycling accidents include:
- Children at 88 percent
- Adult men at 79 percent
- Adult women at 72 percent
The underutilization seems to be sabotaging safety. Men, in particular, outnumber women in the category of most likely to have extended hospital or intensive care stays due to more severe injuries. More than a third of males lost their lives.
All men lost their lives due to a lack of protective headgear.
Education and free helmet programs can only do so much. While these solutions and interventions help, they can only go so far in creating headwear habits in Orlando and throughout Florida.