When motor vehicles collide with bicyclists, the results often are deadly. Given that automobiles are much larger and heavier than bicycles, a traffic crash can result in the total devastation of a bicycle, and cyclists can sustain life-threatening and fatal injuries. As residents of Lombard may know, there is no federal bicycle helmet law, and there is no helmet law in Illinois or in DuPage County more specifically. Only bike messengers in Chicago are required to wear helmets, and then only a handful of counties across the state require children to wear helmets. This means that adults throughout DuPage County and Cook County can ride a bicycle legally without a helmet.
Even though bicycle helmets are not required by law, they can save lives in the event of a collision with an automobile. According to a recent article in Science Nordic, a new study suggests that bicyclists decrease their risk of head injuries by 60 percent when they use helmets, but experts wrangle on the question of making them mandatory by law.
Bicycle Helmets Greatly Reduce the Risk of Brain Injuries in Traffic Collisions
Head injuries are the most common type of fatal injury when cyclists are involved in traffic collisions with trucks and passenger vehicles. While a bicycle helmet cannot entirely prevent head injuries in the event of a crash, they drastically reduce the risk of sustaining a life-threatening traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to a recent study published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, helmets reduce the risk of head trauma by about 60 percent. In other words, this means that you run nearly twice the risk of serious head injury in an accident if you are not using a helmet.
In addition to preventing brain injuries, helmets can also reduce the risk of serious facial fractures and other facial injuries. When cyclists wear helmets, the rate of fatal injuries in crashes drops by about 34 percent.
How Effective Are Bicycle Helmets When Larger Motor Vehicles Are Involved in Collisions?
Those statistics sound good, and they could encourage more cyclists to wear helmets. But are those statistics really as accurate when larger motor vehicles are involved in collisions with cyclists? In other words, can helmets substantially reduce the risk of death if a bicyclist is struck by an automobile? Researchers suggest that bicycle helmets have the greatest effect in single bicycle accidents as opposed to situations in which the bicyclist crashes with a motor vehicle.
In addition to the possibility that helmets do not do as much to reduce injury risk in collisions with motor vehicles, some researchers also believe that making helmets mandatory can change the way a cyclist thinks about safety. For instance, if a bicyclist is required to wear a helmet, she might assume that she is already lowering her risk of injury and does not need to take certain precautions. Oppositely, cyclists who are not required to wear a helmet by law may take numerous additional precautions while they are on their bikes.
Contact a Motor Vehicle Crash Lawyer in DuPage County
Collisions involving cars and bicycles can be extremely serious. An experienced DuPage County motor vehicle crash lawyer can help you to file a claim for compensation. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC to get started on your claim.