Cutter Law P.C.

A bicyclist’s safety is greatly impacted by how the drivers around them act. Negligent conduct by drivers can lead to bicyclists getting hit. Among the harms bicyclists can suffer in such accidents are brain injuries.

Brain injuries vary in their type and in their overall effects. So, there are a wide range of medical and care needs a bicyclist could have following suffering head trauma in a traffic crash. The legal needs of such individuals also vary, as they are affected by the circumstances of the crash and what particular legal issues these circumstances raise. So, well-tailored legal guidance is among the things it can be important for a bicyclist to seek out following suffering a brain injury out on the roads.

Among the things bicyclists can do to try to protect themselves from brain injuries when out on their bike is wearing a helmet. However, helmets have their limits.

Modern bike helmets are good at helping prevent some brain injuries, such as more severe ones like skull fractures. However, there are others they appear to be a much less effective guard against. For example, research points to wearing a modern bicycle helmet not making that big of a difference in a bicyclist’s likelihood of suffering minor brain injuries in a crash.

One thing that is being pointed to as a contributor to this is what types of material are typically used in modern helmets. Generally, the hard foam used in a standard bicycle helmet is good at skull protection, but not as good at absorbing energy as a softer material would be, which can limit its ability to help with certain types of injuries.

Helmet experts have been looking at a variety of ways to try to expand the protective abilities of bike helmets and reduce their limitations. Things that are being put forward as potential ways to do this include: using “smart” materials that can change firmness based on situation, using inflatable elements, changing helmet shape and incorporating some type of movement into helmets to mimic some of the protective abilities of the scalp.

One wonders if we will see any major changes in bike helmet design and safety in upcoming years.

Source: The Washington Post, “Why wearing a bike helmet may not protect you as much as you think,” Jenna Gallegos, Sept. 9, 2017

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