Important Facts About Bicycle Helmets
Although California Vehicle Code Section 21212(a) requires anyone under 18 years of age to wear a helmet while on a bicycle, skateboard, or scooter, it is advisable for everyone to wear a properly fitted helmet designed for the specific activity and skill level of the operator. According to the National Safety Council, a helmet reduces the risk of a head injury by more than 50%.
While helmets are highly effective in preventing skull fractures, brain injuries can still occur due to the sudden, powerful forces involved in bicycle accidents. Specifically, sudden deceleration during a crash can cause the brain to move within the skull and experience significant trauma. In serious accidents, the brain will often rebound and strike the opposite side of the skull, resulting in what is known as a coup-contrecoup injury.
Can You Keep Wearing the Same Bike Helmet After a Crash?
Older helmets usually incorporated some type of Styrofoam intended to absorb the energy of an impact. If you were involved in a bike crash in which you hit your head while wearing a helmet, the helmet should be replaced and never used again, even if the exterior shell does not appear damaged. The crash-absorbing material within the helmet could have been damaged or deformed in the accident, which could reduce its effectiveness in the event of a future crash.
How to Find the Right Bike Helmet
The right helmet should be properly adjusted to fit snug so it remains secure in the event of a crash or tumble. A good mountain bike helmet will be constructed with added protection to the back of the head and improved force absorbing materials. Some helmets, like the Blaze WaveCel by Bontrager, incorporates a new gel material which is an improvement over the old Styrofoam construction.
If you are a road bike enthusiast, especially if you like to ride alone, you may consider a helmet that incorporates a crash sensor that you can program to send a text message to your selected contacts. This technology will alert others that you have been involved in a crash and provide your GPS location via iOS or Android. One smart option is the ANGi system from Specialized.
A good all-around bicycle helmet is the Hudson Bern helmet, winner of the 2021 Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award for meeting rigorous international safety standards. It is equipped with a detachable visor and LED lighting to allow you to see and to help commuters see you.
Advanced Technology Leads to Better Protection
Advances in helmet technology have led to increased safety for cyclists. While, historically, bicycle helmets addressed trauma caused by direct frontal impact, new helmets include Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) that reduce injury from rotational forces on the brain that can cause a shearing injury to the brain matter.
Unfortunately, no helmet offers 100% guaranteed protection. If you were injured or if your loved one suffered a brain injury in a crash, our firm can help. At AgnewBrusavich, we provide personalized legal support for those who have been injured or lost loved ones in tragic bicycle accidents in Torrance and the surrounding areas.For more information about helmets or questions about the signs and symptoms of a possible brain injury, please contact us directly to discuss your case with an attorney at our firm. You can reach Attorney Kevin P. Culpepper at (310) 793-1400, or you can email our firm at firstname.lastname@example.org.