Are you too old to suffer from head injuries? There is a common belief that helmets are just for kids and adults do not need to wear them. The thought process is that as adults, we are more careful and pay better attention. Therefore, we will not have any accidents. Part of this line is true. We are generally more careful and do pay better attention. However, the flaw in this line of thinking is that even as adults, we still have no control over our surroundings. We have no control over the motorist that doesn’t see us, other cyclist that collide with us or the squirrel that darts into our path. The control we do have is the ability to put on protective gear whenever we ride our bikes.
Here are some scary statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- In 2008, 52,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic, up from 43,000 in 2007.
- The average age of a bicyclist killed on U.S. roads is 41.
- The average age of a bicyclist injured on a U.S. road is 31.
- The number of bicyclists under age 15 who were killed was 93 and 13,000 were injured.
- The number of bicyclists age 16-34 who were killed was 168 and 20,000 were injured.
- The number of bicyclists age 35-54 who were killed was 270 and 13,000 were injured.
- The number of bicyclists over 55 who were killed was 179 and 6,000 were injured.
Another factor to remember is that as we age, our brains shrink. This is not the case with our skulls. As a result, there is more room for our brain to get knocked around causing severe damage. Don’t ride a bike without a helmet! Be a role model. Helmets are the most effective way to prevent serious or fatal head injuries.