There are many simple things people can do to protect themselves in the event of a motor vehicle accident. When you get in the car, you can put on your seat belt. When you are crossing a busy street as a pedestrian, you look both ways. And when you are riding your bike, you can wear your helmet.

Unfortunately, many people do not take these simple precautions and they can suffer catastrophic injuries as a result. For instance, riders who don’t wear helmets put themselves at risk of suffering a serious head injury. This is especially true for certain people, according to a recent study.

The study found that most bicyclists who go to the hospital for a head or neck injury were not wearing a helmet at the time of an accident. It also revealed that these injuries were worse for:

  • Children-Kids under the age of 17 were less likely to be wearing a helmet than adults.
  • Men-Male cyclists were 36 percent more likely to suffer fatal injuries than women.
  • Black and Hispanic riders-Black and Hispanic cyclists are more likely to have longer hospital stays than white or Asian/Pacific Islander riders.

These numbers suggest that increasing helmet use among these key demographics can dramatically reduce the overall incidence and severity of head and neck injuries in a bike accident.

Unfortunately, most riders do not wear a helmet every time they get on their bike. This includes children under the age of 16, who are required by Alabama state law to wear one. 

You may think that you or child does not need a helmet because you are a safe rider, or you aren’t traveling very far. However, that decision can leave you vulnerable to catastrophic injuries if you get in an accident caused by poor road conditions or a negligent, reckless motorist

Wearing a helmet may not prevent the accident from occurring in the first place, but it can save your life and reduce the severity of your injuries. As such, it is a good idea to wear a bicycle helmet every time you ride.