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Abels & Annes, P.C. Chicago Injury Blog

Do Bicycle Helmets Prevent Head Injuries?

Definitely. The statistics clearly show how much wearing a helmet dramatically decreases the number of head injuries when riding a bicycle. If you have already been involved in a severe bicycle accident that left you with ANY injuries learn what an experienced Chicago bicycle injury attorney can do for you.

The National Institutes of Health conducted a study on the effectiveness of bicycle helmets and head injuries during an almost two-decade run. The NIH found that the use of helmets while riding bicycles reduced head injuries by 48 percent and reduced serious head injuries by 60 percent. Furthermore, the study found that using a bicycle helmet reduced traumatic brain injuries by 53 percent and reduced deaths and/or serious injuries by 34 percent. Additionally, in another study, Reuters Health reported that a study in the American Journal of Surgery showed that using a bicycle helmet cut traumatic brain injuries by 50 percent.

Buying a New Helmet

Dave Abels Lawyer
Dave Abels, Bicycle Accident Attorney

When you need a bike helmet, make sure the helmet is a certified safe helmet, that it employs concussion-reducing technology, and that you like it enough to wear it regularly. Always try on a helmet to make sure the fit is safe and comfortable. Personal protective equipment is often more dangerous if it doesn’t fit properly.

If you wear it a few times, then decide not to wear it one time, that’s the one time that you could get into a wreck. Every time you choose to go out without the helmet, you increase your risk of suffering head and face injuries if you crash.

Safety Tips for Riding a Bicycle

In addition to wearing a helmet, wear proper additional personal protective equipment, including gloves, elbow pads, knee pads, and appropriate shoes.

In addition:

  • Check your equipment. Make sure you properly adjust the seat, that the brakes work, that the tires have the proper air pressure, that no parts are loose, that you have reflectors on the bike, and that you have a horn on your bike.
  • If possible, avoid riding at night. If you do have to ride at night, wear something reflective, and use flashing lights.
  • Follow the rules of the road. As a bicyclist, you must follow the same rules as motorists.
  • Always ride in single file if you ride with others.
  • Ride in the direction of traffic.
  • Use hand signals when turning, slowing, or stopping.
  • Stay alert—always watch what is going on around you. Motorists do not always see you.
  • Do not hitch onto cars.
  • Keep at least one hand on the handlebars, but preferably two.
  • Always look out for road hazards. While you wouldn’t notice a pavement crack in a car, it could make you crash if you hit it just right on a bicycle. Other hazards include leaves, sand, dogs, debris in the road, wet roads, and standing water.

For more bicycle safety tips speak to an experienced personal injury attorney or check what most common types of bicycle accidents happen in your area.  Some different types of bicycle accidents you could be on the lookout for include:

Bicycle Accident Injuries

Since you have very little protection other than the personal protective equipment you wear when riding a bicycle, you could suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries in a wreck with a motorist.

Even if you crash because of something in the roadway and you are the only person involved in the crash, these serious injuries may result:

  • Bumps, bruises, scrapes, and cuts;
  • Road rash;
  • Sprains, strains, pulled muscles, torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries;
  • Simple and compound fractures;
  • Head, neck, and shoulder injuries;
  • Face injuries;
  • Back and spinal cord injuries;
  • Internal injuries;
  • Paralysis; and
  • Death.

Recoverable Damages

The recovery of damages depends on the circumstances of the accident. If you wreck because of the negligence of a motorist, you could collect damages, including economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Special damages, or economic damages, have a price tag attached to them. The court orders economic damages to make you whole again.

Special damages include:

  • Past medical expenses for those expenses incurred from the date of the accident through the date of settlement or the final hearing.
  • Future medical expenses, including additional surgeries, follow-up appointments, and physical therapy, cognitive therapy, and psychological therapy, and any upcoming medical expenses from the date last paid or figured.
  • Medical equipment, including ambulatory and other aids.
  • Upgrades to your home to make it handicapped accessible, including a ramp, wider doorways, and upgrades to the shower and/or tub.
  • Handicapped aids to help you drive your vehicle, including a handbrake, special steering wheel, and accelerator controls.
  • Past lost wages.
  • Future lost wages, even if you go back to work, as long as you cannot work in your industry or occupation because of the bike accident injuries, and your new job pays less than your former occupation.
  • Replacement or repair of personal property damaged or destroyed in the accident.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

General damages, or non-economic damages, do not have a set price.

Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of companionship if you cannot take part in family activities, including playing with your children or going out with your spouse.
  • Loss of consortium if you can no longer have a physical relationship with your spouse.
  • Inconvenience if you have to pay someone to do chores that you used to perform, including grocery shopping, cleaning the house, lawn maintenance, and home maintenance.
  • Disfigurement if the wreck caused scarring or other disfiguring injuries.
  • Loss of use of a body part or function, such as a foot or your eyesight.
  • Emotional and mental suffering, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety.

Speak to a Bike Accident Lawyer Today

If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident because a motorist hit you or because of poorly maintained bike lanes or routes, contact an experienced bicycle TBI accident attorney for a free consultation and find out whether you have a good case for seeking compensation.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

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